Project Fiji: An update

Project Fiji: An update

By now you might have heard about this ambitious project that I’m planning to turn into a reality in May/June 2016.

If you’ve seen the video of Caitlin you’ll have a good understanding of how important sentiment and memory is to me. We live in an age where we’re taking more photos than we ever have before: In fact I read a quote yesterday that said “I’m so old I can remember a day when I didn’t take a photo!”

The sad truth though is that not everyone has the ability to do so, and there are a number of families who will watch their children grow up and have NO physical record of the journey.

My plan is to return to Soso Village next year and capture portraits of every child in the village, and if the funding level is reached – every family unit as well.

Where am I with this project at the moment?

The village chief and school staff green-lighted the project in October, which led to a very short-notice and hasty trip to Fiji in the beginning of November to meet with the chief of the village and the head teacher of the school.
From the outset I firmly believed that this project would not happen without support from the village itself – so it was imperative that I headed out there to introduce myself and get a real feel for what would need to happen.
My day in the village will remain one of the most memorable in my life, and I am hoping with every fibre of my being that we can pull this off next year.

The real eye-opener was that there are small, but significant, infrastructure needs that the school has. Done correctly, I have an opportunity to do something meaningful and lasting for these children.

There is much to say, but I’ll leave that for further updates as things unfold.

Headmaster, Head-girl and Head-boy

No one plays up in front of a camera more than a group of children

Due to issues with their water tanks, this is the sum total of the drinking water for a school of 64 pupils and 15 preschool children. (Imagine heat in the high 30º's - something needs to be done here.)

What help do I need?

More information will be shared as the exact scope of the project becomes clearer. For now, awareness of the project is good enough.

However, I will be needing help in a couple of big areas:
  • Fundraising – The budget for this project is in excess of $20 000. I am still not certain of the platform I will be using to raise funds (ie Kickstarter, Give a litte, Pledgeme etc…) as they each have their own pros and cons. I would be very grateful for advice and suggestions. If you know of any other platforms, or even individuals who would be sympathetic to this cause I’d love to hear from you.
  • Spread the word – Let your networks know about this project. Share this email, the blog post and upcoming updates. The more awareness I can generate the greater the chances of succeeding with this project.
  • Let me buy you coffee – This is a passion project, and I’m more than happy to have a good discussion with anyone interested in helping.

3 schoolgirls with the portraits I took of them 4 years ago.

Learning and education are taken seriously here, and it's amazing to see a classroom full of children applying themselves and dedicated to learning.