The population of Fiji is almost one million with seventy percent of the population under forty years. The biggest hurdle for us is raising enough funds to allow our focus on the poor as there are many very poor families. The minimum wage is $2.32 and even trained trades men get only $4-$5 an hour, but the price of basic food items here is about the same as New Zealand so it is understandable that most of our residents are unable to make any financial contribution.
The Government give us an annual grant of $24,000. The only other income is from our Gala committee who raise about $16,000 annually. Such is our reputation that when the Fiji Sisters used to drive to the local market on the island every Friday asking the sellers for bruised or damaged vegetables – anything they could spare – word quickly spread and they started to receive quality vegetables in such an abundance that they were able to share them with other local Catholic institutions!
There are wealthier people in Fiji who can afford care but we try to stay with the poor. For the past few years we have talked with the Board about starting a sponsorship program the idea of ‘adopt a Grannie’ to sponsor a bed.
The work there can often be trying as the home relies heavily on the generosity of groups, businesses, families and individuals to keep it running. But, as with everything we do, we have faith that the grace of God touches us when we most need it.
We thank you on behalf of all our residents.