In 1993 Richard Evanson, owner of Turtle Island, established the Yasawas Community Foundation with an initial $50,000 donation. The Foundation was conceived as a means for guests who come to the Nacula Tikina to make a contribution to assist with community capacity building in our local area.
The Foundation includes amongst its Trustees the Chiefs of all the local villages, and it provides programs and supports initiatives in healthcare, education, infrastructure projects (water provision, sewerage) and for emergency help.
The Foundation offers an opportunity for guests at all levels of the tourism sector to engage with the indigenous Fijian community of the 7 villages in this area. It also ensures that our region, which lacks a lot of government services and thus opportunities, does not continue to be disadvantaged by its remote location.
Projects are selected by the Trustees for support on the basis of need, and priority is given to projects, which are able to obtain two-to-one matching government grants. The most recent grant has resulted in four 10,000 liter water tanks being given to each of the seven villages in the Tikina. You could help us make a difference to the health and education of our young people and to give our broader community better services, by making a donation to the Foundation.
Any amount that you can provide as a donation will benefit us
The first secondary school in our area has been built at and funded by Turtle Island, at its cost, with some help from the Foundation, and is called the Evanson Learning Centre (ELC). It currently has 52 students and will grow to 55 students in 2006. Money from the Yasawas Community Foundation has been used to assist in the construction of new classrooms and a new Science Lab for the students. In order to help the young people of our area, we continue to raise money to finance the education of these students at the Secondary School. A scholarship for a full year’s education, including boarding fees, costs F $ 1,650, so any part of that which you can give would be a big help.
Prior to this school opening, all of our secondary school students were required to go to the mainland to continue their education after primary school and many families could not afford to send them. School retention rates were as low as 20% after primary school. With the new secondary school, our young people have a choice about their education.
The Yasawas Community Foundation is raising money to equip our local healthcare station with some basic items such as water, power and communications. The Foundation is also seeking to purchase some emergency equipment including an ECG machine and a defibrillator. Besides, once a year different health clinics, like women’s-men’s health, pediatrics, ear nose, throat and dentistry clinics are offered on Turtle Island. During the eye clinics, more than 11,000 Fijians have had their eyes tested and more than 9,000 pairs of glasses haven been provided for free.
Any amount that you can provide as a donation will benefit.