St. Brigid’s School Children Support Families Devastated in Fiji Cyclone By Kirsteen Mclay-Knopp

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Cyclone Winston tore through Fiji on 20th Feb. 2016, changing the lives of children and families there forever.

Fiji is in a state of natural disaster and its people are in urgent need after Cyclone Winston ripped through the Island nation and left a trail of destruction and heartbreak with 44 dead, more than 35,000 homeless and everyone – babies, families and the elderly – with nothing.   Devastating images show the impact of Fiji’s biggest ever storm, with debris scattered everywhere and nothing but single walls standing for some homes.   Mothers cradle children in the wreckage of their homes, children huddle together as they seek refuge at evacuation centres and fragile, elderly citizens are forced to fend themselves, left with nothing but the shirt on their backs…   Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama is warning his devastated nation it faces a long and difficult recovery.  (Source:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3463347/Death-toll-Fiji-rises-44-10-month-old-baby-presumed-dead-catastrophic-Cyclone-Winston-tore-country-wiping-village.html)

A woman and her son in their damaged house in Viti Levu. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A woman and her son in their damaged house in Viti Levu, Fiji. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

The children of St. Brigid’s School (in Dunedin) decided to have a mufti day to support their peers in Fiji.  The school children each brought along some gold coins, which were laid out on the ground to spell the word “Fiji”.

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St. Brigid’s School children spell out the word “Fiji” in coins on the floor of their school hall.

“The kids in Fiji have had their homes, schools and churches all smashed up,” Ben, aged 8, told us.  “We thought how bad we’d feel if that happened to us.  Some of them have even had people in their families die.  It’s good if we can do something to help.”

All together St. Brigid’s mufti day raised $243 for the Catholic Charity organisation Caritas, who have organised an appeal to support those affected by Cyclone Winston in Fiji.

For more information about St. Brigid’s School, see their website:  http://www.stbrigidsdn.school.nz/

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St. Brigid’s School children, collecting the money they raised to help those affected by Cyclone Winston in Fiji.

Related Links:

http://caritas.org.nz/where-we-work/emergencies/cyclone-winston-response

 

Nepal earthquake: “the shake was like nothing I have experienced”, by Rupa Joshi, a communication officer with UNICEF in Nepal

nepal-appeal-page FYOur thoughts are with the people of Nepal in the aftermath of the violent earthquake they have experienced. We pray that those who are strong will support the more vulnerable members of society there: the injured, the mentally traumatised, the grief-stricken, the elderly and the children. Please consider giving, even a little, to the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund… follow link at the end of this article for how to donate.

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On 26 April 2015, a UNICEF worker speaks to a child seeking temporary shelter at a vacant field next to Nepal’s army headquarters in Kathmandu following Nepal’s massive earthquake. UNICEF is mobilizing an urgent response to meet the needs of children affected by the earthquake in Nepal. With children accounting for half the country’s population, UNICEF fears the disaster, which is reported to have already killed hundreds of people, will have a severe impact on children. UNICEF has prepositioned supplies, including water purification tablets, hygiene kits, tarpaulins and nutrition supplies, and is working with government and other partners to meet children’s immediate needs in the areas of water and sanitation, child protection, health and nutrition.