Blessings In Use

On the last Wednesday of July 2014, Radisson Blu’s “Adopt-A-School” programme witnessed one of its proudest moments to-date with the official opening of its largest project at Navilawa, Sabeto Valley.
12 Dec 2014 10:14
Blessings In Use
The joy in their faces says it all…proud recipients of Radisson Blu’s “Adopt-A-School” programme inside the Early Learning Centre, at Navilawa, Sabeto Valley as they surround Gerard Knight. Photo: Denarau Corporation Limited

On the last Wednesday of July 2014, Radisson Blu’s “Adopt-A-School” programme witnessed one of its proudest moments to-date with the official opening of its largest project at Navilawa, Sabeto Valley. “This was a first Early Learning Centre for a village that had no purpose-built school facilities at all in the past and we are very thankful to our hard working Responsible Business Committee, Mrs Trish Knight, our general manager’s wife and her very proactive team of volunteers and most of all to our guests for making this project happen.” says Suzie Jones, the resorts director of sales and marketing.

‘Rise Beyond the Reef’

The project came about months ago when a partner organisation “Rise Beyond the Reef” introduced the Radisson Blu Responsible Business team to the village and explained their needs. “Rise Beyond the Reef” co-ordinated the project in terms of communicating with both the village community and the Ministry of Education while the Radisson Blu’s “Adopt–A–School” programme fully funded the project. The investment totalled around $20,000, which included building materials and furniture for the facility.

Various members from the resort’s engineering team spent three days on site helping the village with the building work – one member of the team was particularly involved with drawings, quotes and coordination.

Radisson Blu donated approximately 75-man hours to the project and funding has been raised totally through guest donations. “Rise BeyondThe Reef” shared with us the fact that only 4.7 per cent of the entire Yakete district (home to Navilawa Village) has graduated from a full secondary school education and for more than 60 years, children as young as five years old from this community have left their village to attend the nearest kindergarten at the district boarding school, which is a three-hour walk over the mountains.” Ms Jones said.

Radisson Blu is very hopeful that the new facility will introduce a wonderful group of Fijian children to education at a young age and help them develop a passion for learning and perhaps one day one of these children will become a leader within Fiji or even beyond this domestic boundary.

The Radisson Blu were told that this was the first ever hotel-tourism-based investment in the district, despite the fact that within Yakete there are nine similar villages with a total population of about 650-700 and rarely benefit from “tourism dollars”.

Computers for schools

Through their “Adopt-A-School” programme Radisson Blu Resort were very busy again in August and September this year, distributing computers and other educational resources to schools in the  Nadi area Ms Jones says “Radisson Blu’s Responsible Business Committee initiative actively raises funds from guests who are willing to support worthwhile projects aimed at enhancing the literacy skills of Fijian children and as September was our “Action Month” within the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, our local team, on the September 15 was able to purchase and install another 82 computers across five primary schools.

The second batch of delivery was done on September 24.”

Each recipient school either had very limited access to existing computers or none at all.

Meigunyah Muslim Primary, Arya Primary, Sabeto Sangam Primary, Masimasi Primary and Vaturu District School all gratefully received computers and gave the team a warm, hospitable welcome.

Nadi Special School were also pleased to receive a much needed data projector to assist in their visual learning techniques.

Radisson Blu is also working with Arya Primary, Sabeto Sangam and Vaturu District on the introduction of new library facilities, using books donated through a South Australian charitable organisation “South Pacific School Aid” with free freight from the community-minded partner Williams and Gosling, two companies who wholeheartedly support this valuable work.

Radisson Blu’s initiatives to date have included the distribution of over 250 computers, four new library set ups, fully funding the building of an Early Learning Centre and many other worthwhile projects which have all benefitted our local schoolchildren and earned them the Responsible Business Hotel of the Year Asia Pacific 2013 award within the Carlson Rezidor Hotel group.

Radisson thanks business committee, team

Gerard Knight, general manager said “I am very proud of what the resort team has achieved so far and the best is still to come with donations for the year expecting to exceed that of 2013 by a wide margin.” October saw the results of some hard work by the Radisson Blu Responsible Business Committee with the official opening of Togo Primary library and a computer lab.

“Of course we couldn’t have achieved this without the generosity of our Radisson Blu guests who continue to amaze us with their donations and generosity. Also special thanks go out to Williams and Gosling who always provides us with free freight for our donated library books from Australia, to SPSA who provided some amazing books and to our dedicated group of volunteers who help with our library set-up.

Vinaka Vakalevu! says Gerard Knight as he together with Responsible Business chairman, Satya Narayan, declared the centre at Navilawa open.

Five square Da Bang Sale

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