On 7 Feb 2016 Makogai Island, Fiji was pummeled by Cyclone Winston. Yachties (including David Hartman of Travel Boating Lifestyle) & friends volunteered to rebuild the school in a coordinated effort by Sea Mercy.
There were 140 volunteers, ably led by the generous SY Outsider crew Ian and Wendy Shields. Over a period of three months 35 boats representing 14 countries came and went. Some volunteers stayed for a few days, others, like SY Outsider, SY Carpe Diem and SY ANAHATA, stayed for three months. It was an awesome effort from every single person who volunteered to help the villagers of Makogai Island.
Travel Boating Lifestyle returned one year later to catch up with villagers and check on their progress. It was an emotional reunion for David, returning to the island where he had worked each day alongside volunteers and villagers to rebuild four classrooms and the amenities block.
The village is looking fantastic with new crops planted, mango trees flowering, bananas trees producing fruit. The school children are loving their classrooms, whose walls are adorned with posters to help their studies. Plans are afoot for new teachers quarters to be constructed adjacent to the playing field, meaning that Makogai will become a sought after posting for Fiji’s teachers.
The future is once again looking bright again for Makogai Island and its residents!