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and Renewal
GVI Fiji Dawasamu
Annual Report 2016
2016 Overview
The last year has been a year of hardship, hard work and great achievement not only
for GVI Fiji, but every community in Dawasamu District. On 20th February 2016, the Fiji
Islands, and including the regions in which GVI live and work, was struck by a severe
category 5 cyclone, Cyclone Winston. The strongest cyclone ever to pass through the
South Pacific, it left untold destruction and devastation in its wake. Forty four people
lost their lives across Fiji, and thousands of families lost possessions and in extreme
cases, were left homeless. As you can imagine, the majority of GVIs project work this
year has been dictated by the needs and demands of the communities we work with
throughout this traumatic and challenging time.

In Dawasamu specifically, communities were relatively lucky to have as many lives

spared as they did. However, their homes, schools, churches, plantations and coastline
bore the brunt. In Silana Village alone, all but five houses were completely destroyed
and families lost their incomes and investments as all plantations were flooded resulting
in crops failing. Additionally, Silana Village suffered the large loss of its income
generating project, GVIs Babale Base, where all 9 bures were completely destroyed
leaving only the communal space of
Frisby partially standing. In the
weeks following the cyclone it
became apparent that the reef had
also sustained significant damage
with fish feeding behaviours
changing, resulting in community
members being unable to catch fish
to supplement their already limited
post-cyclone diet.

Volunteers assisting community members in Silana to clear debris

Immediately after the cyclone, aid agencies were able

to lend support to the villages in Dawasamu District by
donating tents to be used as temporary housing. The
government provided shipments of food and clothing
donations, as well as various departments visiting on
regular occasions. Two weeks after the cyclone, GVI
began to make daily trips to
Dawasamu District from
the capital city of Suva to Volunteer delivering WaSH lesson at DDS
supply additional aid
which had not yet been provided by the government or other
aid agencies, as well as delivering WaSH lessons to children
in some villages of the district. By April 2016, GVI had
managed to arrange temporary accommodation at the
partially repaired Natalei Eco Lodge, located in the village of
Nataleira, approximately a ten-minute drive from Silana
Village. From this base, GVI was able to begin, slowly and
steadily, to rebuild their community and education
programmes in the district.
Natalei Ecolodge in Nataleira 1
GVIs Education Programme in Dawasamu
GVI has worked with
in partnership Navunisea

Since GVI commenced work in
District School (NDS) since 2013 and with Dawasamu District 310 children
have received the number of
Dawasamu District School (DDS) since 2015.
teaching hours listed below.
Cyclone Winston left both schools with significant
damage to infrastructure, including teachers 2,400 hours of literacy tuition.
accommodation, classrooms and the library at
NDS. The DDS teachers suffered the greatest loss 1,920 hours of PEMAC lessons,
in terms of housing, with two of the teachers nurturing the childrens
families being forced to live in the school library in creative development in PE,
the months following the cyclone. Music and Art and Craft.

Navunisea District School in the weeks following Cyclone Winston

As this was the learning space that GVI utilised for literacy and phonics lessons, it
was with regret that GVI decided to temporarily step back from providing education
support at DDS. After discussing with the teachers at DDS, this was a mutual
decision reached with the teachers who appreciated that they needed the space and
time to find their feet without the added pressures of volunteers in their already
cramped school. GVI continued to make regular visits to DDS to check in with the
teachers and were able to assist by teaching WaSH lessons in the first few weeks
after the cyclone and by offering support for Sports Days and Awards Days at the
end of the school year.

Volunteers paint faces at DDS

NDS, which serves as Silanas
Evacuation Centre, housed the
community for the first 2 weeks after
the cyclone before they received
temporary shelters. NDS sustained
damage to their teachers housing
as well as classrooms but the most
detrimental loss was the schools
library, which held learning aids,
teaching resources and hundreds of
books accumulated during the Silana families living at NDS

previous three years that GVI had

worked with the school.

The library also served as GVIs

learning space at the school where
volunteers would teach and lesson
plan. Fortunately, NDS had a small
learning centre which had been
utilized by volunteers for activities
prior to the cyclone. It had been
damaged during the cyclone but
was able to be rebuilt by GVI staff
and volunteers.
Volunteers paint the Learning Centre at NDS

One of the first projects that GVI undertook once they had returned to Dawasamu
District was this rebuild, which was completed entirely out of scrap wood and roofing
tin collected from the debris of Cyclone Winston. Over this time, a GVI volunteer
designed a mural to decorate the inside of the learning centre and in the Holiday
Programme during April, education volunteers were able to complete this as well as
repaint the inside and outside of the learning centre. GVI volunteers spent a
combined 200 hours working on the refurbishments to the learning centre.

In response to the devastation of Cyclone Winston, GVI Fiji with

the support of funds raised through GVI Trust were able to:

Rebuild and refurbish the NDS Learning Centre

Provide transportation of donated classroom furniture to NDS
Begin the complete reconstruction of the NDS library
Create and replace damaged learning tools and aids for
teachers and volunteers


By the beginning of May 2016 education volunteers were back in NDS fulltime
teaching literacy, phonics, PEMAC and 1:1 lessons with targeted students.
Volunteers had limited resources during this time and were supported by Education
Project Leaders to design fun and interactive lessons which only required simple
materials and could be taught in improvised learning spaces if necessary. In these
initial few months, staff and volunteers had to be flexible and adaptable as aid
organisations as well as various government ministries, would make impromptu visits
to the school to provide counselling to the students, health check-ups or to drop off

Volunteers working with literacy groups at NDS

In a typical week each volunteer is likely to

teach the amount of hours listed below.

6 hours of literacy tuition.

1.5 hours of PEMAC lessons, nurturing the

childrens creative development in PE, Music
and Art and Craft (Class 1, 2, 3, 4)

3 hours of PEMAC lessons, nurturing the

childrens creative development in PE, Music
and Art and Craft (Class 5, 6).

2.5 hours of 1:1 lessons with targeted

students who require additional learning

Students practice volleyball skills at NDS

GVI staff and volunteers responded creatively and effectively to the many
unexpected challenges and changes throughout the year. Volunteers assisted the
school staff in covering multiple Class 8 lessons for three months when the class
teacher fell ill and two other teachers were transferred from NDS leaving only four
class teachers. They were also adaptable to difficult teaching environments such
as the loss of the Class 8 tarpaulin roof or the frequent leaking and mud-filled tent

One-to-one lessons at NDS

PEMAC classes at NDS
By August, teachers, GVI staff and
volunteers had all noticed a decline in
student behaviour. This was attributed to a
combination of change in discipline style
from class teachers, disruption to regular
routine as well as obvious psycho-social
trauma post-cyclone. As an alternative to a
punishment-based discipline system, GVI
staff and volunteers presented a positive-
reinforcement behaviour management plan
to the teachers and staff. Everyone was
very receptive and keen to try a new
initiative which they hoped would help
combat the spike in behaviour issues. The
new value-based behaviour management
plan was instrumental in helping to open up
the channels of communication between
Behaviour Plan at NDS
GVI volunteers and class teachers.
Staff encouraged volunteers to give positive feedback about a childs behaviour to
the teacher after every lesson and also to report any negative behaviour when
necessary. Teachers and GVI staff and volunteers all observed huge
improvements in the overall behaviour in school after the implementation of this
In 2016 GVI have ensured that 130 children have received the number of teaching hours listed

600 hours of literacy tuition.

480 hours of PEMAC lessons, nurturing the childrens creative development in PE, Music and
Art and Craft.
As the academic year grew to a close in November, GVI were confident that the
Dawasamu Education Programme was ready to be implemented fully in January
2017 for a full 12 month run. Through trial and alteration during 2016, the
programme has become more specific, consistent and easier to maintain through
changing volunteers.
In 2016 GVI have ensured that each child receives the amount of teaching listed

60 hours of literacy tuition.
80 hours of phonics tuition.
60 hours of PEMAC lessons, nurturing the childrens creative development in PE,
Music and Art and Craft (Class 1, 2, 3, 4)
120 hours of PEMAC lessons, nurturing the childrens creative development in PE,
Music and Art and Craft (Class 5, 6)

GVIs Education Programme Goals for 2017

1. Test every childs reading level at both schools (172 students currently
attending NDS and 252 students currently attending DDS). By testing the
children at the beginning of each term (January, April and August) we will be
able to map their progress over the course of the year and assess the
effectiveness of GVIs education programme in Dawasamu. This information is
invaluable to identifying individual student needs and is a benefit for
volunteers and local teachers alike. In total volunteers will spend 318 hours
testing every student in both schools three times throughout 2017.
2. Develop a means of assessing the phonic knowledge of all children in class 1,
2 and 3 at both schools (71 children in classes 1-3 at NDS and 93 children in
classes 1-3 at DDS). In addition, any children classified as non-readers will be
tested on their phonic knowledge. The Phonics Screening Test, in use in the
United Kingdom, is not appropriate for children whose first language is not
English so a more relevant test is required.
3. Encourage the use of volunteers as Teaching Assistants, when timetabled.
Teachers will have a volunteer in class daily to assist with duties such as
marking and photocopying or to help a group of or individual student with the
lesson content. Each class teacher will receive classroom support for 200
hours throughout the year. GVI volunteers will provide 30 hours of classroom
support a week, amounting to 1,200 hours over the course of 2017.
4. Continue to strive towards an open and reflective environment where
teachers, volunteers and staff discuss students learning and share teaching
tips and practices willingly and frequently.

GVIs Community Programme in Dawasamu

GVI has worked in Dawasamu District for the past four years, having formed a close
working relationship with our Community Partners in Silana Village. GVIs
education and community volunteers live in Silana, renting Babale Base from the
village as the Silana Youth Committees income generating project.
Understandably, members of the community were distraught after Cyclone Winston
for their own personal losses, however they were also devastated about the loss of
the nine traditional bures which formed the GVI base, a source of great pride for the
village among the local communities.

Out of all of the buildings that GVI

rented from the village only the
communal sitting area, known as
Frisby, was left even partially
standing. Upon inspection,
Frisbys foundations were deemed
safe and sturdy enough for the
building to be rebuilt. Thus, this
rebuild formed the community
programmes first major project
after Cyclone Winston.
The nine destroyed traditional bures at the former Babale Base

GVI staff and volunteers assisted

members of the local community with
the rebuild by purchasing materials,
supplying the necessary tools as well as
eager, helping hands. After the rebuild
Frisby was officially opened with a
gathering of staff, volunteers and
community members, a much-needed
celebration for Silana Village. Once
Volunteers and staff rebuilding Frisby
Frisby was a usable space once again it
was handed back to the village to be
used when needed as a venue to hold
workshops, meetings and for
socialising. In early 2017, it will form the
common room of the new Babale Base
in Silana.

Rebuilt Frisby

WaSH workshops with children

An integral part of the community volunteers work immediately after the cyclone
was delivering WaSH lessons to the children in the villages of Dawasamu District.
The one-hour session was delivered to a total of 140 children during 8 separate
sessions in the weeks following the cyclone. From April onwards the community
volunteers worked on developing a 10-session WaSH scheme of work, creating
accompanying lesson resources. These were then able to be taught by education
volunteers during PEMAC sessions, as they all had either a Music, PE or Art and
Craft focus. Education volunteers were responsible for continuing to teach these
lessons once a week until all were completed and ensured they completed the
accompanying tracking sheet, which allows for easy handover of information
between volunteers.
Community staff and volunteers, on
request from the villages in
Dawasamu District, also designed
and delivered interactive and
practical workshops teaching basic
first aid skills. After the cyclone,
levels of interest in first aid training
spiked in the villages of Dawasamu
as people realised just how useful
these skills can be in times of crisis.
First Aid workshops in Silana
The District Nurse and Silanas Village Nurse both backed this project whole-
heartedly and offered their input, support, expertise and local knowledge, enabling
the first aid workshops to be as relevant and useful as possible. Silanas Village
Nurse was also on hand during each workshop to assist the volunteers with
translation as well as specific medical questions that people wanted answering.
Over the first few months following the cyclone this workshop was delivered to every
village in Dawasamu and was always well attended, demonstrating just how eager
everyone was to improve their skills and be in a better position to help their families.

As GVIs community partners, Silana
Village were always extremely proud
about their waste management
programme. Immediately after the
cyclone, the priority for the community
and GVI was for all villages to begin
the clean-up process to help make a
safer environment for everyone.
Additionally, GVI's community
partners in Silana Village also
expressed their eagerness to restart
the recycling projects that they had
been working so hard on prior to the
cyclone. GVI's first step was to assist
each village with a tin collection, as
scrap roofing tin and debris were
littering the region. Members of each
community readily collected the tin
from their village in to one central
location, and this was then collected
by a truck, organised by GVI, and
Tin collection in Dawasamu
taken to Suva to be recycled.

At this time GVI's Community

team also began working in
villages in Dawasamu District
to repair recycling points
damaged during the cyclone,
starting with Silana Village in
May. The village of Nataleira,
Nasinu, Driti and Lolomolevu
also had their points repaired
and all other villages in the
district were visited to assess
damage and rebuilding

In 2016, GVI Fiji facilitated and

assisted the collection of:

13 tonnes of damaged roofing


Across 5 villages

15 trips to recycling point

Sorting and Collecting recycling

Community scholars designed and conducted surveys, which elicited responses
from members of the community about the areas of interest that they have and what
they would like to learn more about through GVI organised workshops. From this
data, the staff and scholars were able to assess the needs and desires of the
community. From this data, the staff and scholars were able to assess the needs
and desires of the community and prioritise them, creating a timeline for the next
12 months.

While developing new workshops and

conducting surveys, staff and volunteers From the research carried out by GVI
were continuing to visit villages with fully these were found to be the 7 most
functioning recycling points. GVI desirable future projects for Dawasamu
delivered training in three stages, District.
promoting the benefits of reduce and
Child Behaviour and Discipline
reuse as more desirable options than
recycling whilst enabling community Child Health
members to take responsibility for the Farming & Agriculture
recycling point in their village. The long- Alternative cleaning products
term aim of GVI's waste management Mental Health
project is that nominated members of Climate Action/Weather
each village will be in contact with one Menstrual Health
another and when enough villages have
full bags of waste they will pull together
their resources in order to hire a truck to
take the bags to Suva for recycling.

GVIs Community Programme Goals for 2017

1. Complete the building and repairing of all recycling points in
Dawasamu District. Additionally, provide each village with the skills
and awareness to succeed in this project, by delivering accompanying
training in each village. Ensure sustainability by encouraging the use of
nominated community members to taken on responsibility for the
maintenance of each recycling point.
2. Complete the Cyclone Management workshop. To be delivered to
every village in Dawasamu, outlining information about climate change
and how best to prepare for a natural disaster.
3. Develop the Kitchen Garden workshop which will promote the
benefits of eating healthy, nutritious food and Feeding your Family
First before selling produce at market.
4. Collate and organise information about child development. This
information will form the basis of a womens education project, to be
trialled in Silana, where mothers are responsible for organising and
running a crche, with GVI support initially. All learning toys will be
created by the women themselves, and focused on the nurturing of one
area of a childs development.