WORLDWIDE HOSPITALITY FUNDRAISER FEEDS THOUSANDS OF FIJIAN FAMILIES
As a result of border closures, Fiji’s hospitality sector has been hugely impacted, with many thousands of hospitality workers stood down or on reduced income.
Recognising families were struggling to send their children to school and feed their families, The Fiji Hospitality Fundraiser was started by Management at Vomo Island Fiji four months ago. VOMO General Manager Justin King and Director of Sales Karen Marvell invited colleagues from other tourism companies in the Mamanuca region to join their plight and raise funds to put food on the tables of Fijian Hospitality Workers. Captain Cook Cruises, Ahura Resorts and South Sea Cruises responded to the call-out and joined VOMO in sharing a ‘Go Fund Me’ page to their international databases.
The Go Fund Me Page for Fiji Hospitality Workers, suggested the following donations as a guideline of what their money could do:
$25 will provide lunches for two school children for a week
$75 will feed one family with dinner for a week
$100 will fee one family 3 meals per day for a week
$150 will feed one person for a month
People from all over the world—largely past guests who have visited Fiji themselves—have contributed to the fundraiser and surpassed the initial dollar goal that was set. In just four months, the fundraiser has resulted in $90,000 in donations.
As a result, supermarket vouchers for Shop N Save stores have been distributed over the past 2 months to 1,200 hospitality workers by Captain Cook, Ahura Resorts, South Sea Cruises & Vomo Island Resort. Today, VOMO’s barge will depart Lautoka to distribute 20 tonnes of staple goods such as flour, rice, oil and crackers to a further 750 families in the Mamanuca Islands & Vuda region with funds raised by the four tourism companies through generous donations from their past guests and friends.
“The longer the borders are closed, the more this is becoming a genuine crisis. We felt compelled to help families who cannot afford to eat,” explains Justin King, General Manager, Vomo Island.
“Some tourism companies like VOMO have committed to keeping their teams employed and they are receiving some income during the closure period. Sadly, others have not been able to do so. The result, plain and simple, is hunger. We’ve helped to ease this a little and feed nearly 2000 families through our distribution of supermarket vouchers & groceries. What is heart-warming is the generosity of past guests who have been so amazing with their donations giving back to the beautiful people of Fiji who have looked after them on their holidays,” continues Mr King.