In the wake of Cyclone Winston, the worst storm recorded in the southern hemisphere, according to an article by Reuters, Projects Abroad is seeking volunteers to help with recovery work in Fiji, especially with making schools safe for children to return.
The cyclone hit the South Pacific archipelago Feb. 20, killing 43 people and leaving tens of thousands homeless, according to Reuters. On March 21, the Fiji government extended the declaration of the country as a natural disaster area for another month, and Australia has donated $15 million in aid to Fiji to provide food, clean water and shelter, as well as teams of emergency aid workers, the article stated.
As of that date, more than 25,000 Fijians were still living at evacuation centers, according to Fiji’s National Emergency Operation Centre. But more help from volunteers is needed.
Projects Abroad’s main goal is to restore a safe learning environment for children by rebuilding and renovating schools in the region, according to a news release. Projects Abroad also will help rebuild homes damaged by the cyclone.
Volunteers are needed to clear debris, build water tanks, replace windows, paint, help local carpenters and conduct damage assessment, as well as secure and distribute food, water and clothing.
Projects Abroad, a nongovernmental organization, will house volunteers with host families in undamaged housing. Volunteers are asked to help for at least one week — and may remain as long as they are needed, which could be several months.
The organization charges a placement fee for its volunteers to cover food; accommodations; health and travel insurance; and transportation.
Founded in 1992, Projects Abroad sends 10,000 volunteers abroad annually to work on various service projects, according to its website. Volunteers range in ages from 16 to 75, but university students and recent graduates make up the majority of the volunteers,
For more information, visit the Projects Abroad website for more details.
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