My name is Kylie and I am a junior doctor in NSW, Australia. In the aftermath of Cyclone Winston, I will be taking annual leave to head to Fiji for 2 weeks in April to volunteer with the Red Cross outreach team via Involvement Volunteers International and their Emergency Relief project.
Cyclone Winston was a severe Category 5 cyclone that arrived in Fiji on the 20th of February 2016. It damaged the islands extensively, and killed 43 people. An estimated 24 000 homes were damaged or destroyed, leaving 120 000 people (almost 1 in 7 Fijians) in need of immediate shelter assistance. The total damage has been estimated at FJ $1 billion (AU $640 million), including damage to industry, and damage to health (FJ $4.61 million). Cyclone Winston is the most severe cyclone on record in the Southern Hemisphere.
At the moment, jobs vary on a daily basis. The last update I received, the Red Cross outreach team was prioritising getting food and water to families who have lost their homes. In the coming weeks and by the time I get there, efforts will focus on rebuilding and repair. There will be ongoing need for first aid and medical care.
I am asking for donations to help the people of Fiji. Donations will be spent locally, through local businesses, on items needed, and on supporting organisations like Red Cross.
Thank you for considering making a donation to Fiji in the aftermath of Cyclone Winston.
I am a junior doctor on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia. I have no experience in providing medical aid in emergency relief situations. However, I do have experience working in health care and in disadvantaged health care settings, and have undertaken medical placements in rural and remote areas in Australia and South America. I am passionate about global health. I plan to direct my career with a global health focus. I believe in climate change, that it affects health, and that Cyclone Winston is one of many strange occurrences which support the fact that climate change is happening. Fiji is seldom impacted by storms like Cyclone Winston - the last strong tropical cyclone to make landfall was Cyclone Nigel in 1985.
I plan to give regular updates (pending internet connection) while I am in Fiji. I hope that I am useful in providing medical assistance to Fijians and others. While there, I hope to learn about Fiji and its people and culture, the different stages of emergency relief, to gain a better understanding of how resources and financial relief after a natural disaster are distributed and spent, and that my experiences will help others understand too.
If you would like to join me or know more about the program I’m going through, you are more than welcome to message!
All donations received will only be used locally in Fiji. Your donations will not be funding my flights or volunteer costs. The donations will be split between purchasing items for Fijians as needed when I am there, and supporting other people and organisations with better expertise in this area - Red Cross and Food for Fiji. If you know of any organisations that you think are doing a great job in providing aid in Fiji, please recommend them!
Currently, the ground team is not specifically asking for items from overseas e.g. medical supplies or equipment, and I have been asked specifically to purchase any needed items in Fiji in order to support local community businesses. If this situation changes and it becomes necessary to bring things from overseas, I will let everyone know.
Please note that this fundraising website GoGetFunding collects 4% of all donations and an additional 2.9% if payment is via credit card. This rate is the lowest fee I could find on fundraising websites. If you would like to donate personally to my account to avoid the fee, you are welcome to - just contact me for my details!