SPORTS

Kerevi: Be A Shining Star For Koro

Christmas came early for 800 children of Koro Island as they were gifted Back to School backpacks on Thursday with custom written holiday cards from children in Australia. Organised by
23 Dec 2017 11:00
Kerevi: Be A Shining Star For Koro
Wallaby centre Samu Kerevi presents “Back to School Backpacks” to a Koro Island student on December 21, 2017. Photo: Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Christmas came early for 800 children of Koro Island as they were gifted Back to School backpacks on Thursday with custom written holiday cards from children in Australia.

Organised by the Reach for Your Future Foundation (R4YFF) with their ambassador Wallaby and Reds centre  Samu Kerevi, the event included Christmas carols being sung by various choirs.

Partners included the Ministry for Health and Medical Services, Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation and the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Future Foundation ambassador Kerevi said he was excited to be in Fiji for Christmas and had been looking forward to visiting Koro where he shares maternal links.

“As you are all aware Christmas is only days away. It is a time of giving and receiving gifts and we must prepare ourselves to receive the most precious and dearest gift from our heavenly father,” Kerevi said.

“We must also be willing to give God the most precious gift of all which is from our hearts.”

He invited those present to treasure the true meaning of giving and receiving and share in the spirit of compassion and love for those in need.

“This is the reason for the season. As Reach for your Future Foundation ambassador I am extremely honoured to be given the opportunity to do something special this Christmas in gifting our children and Fiji a future. A gift that will accompany every child from home to school in 2018,” he said.

“A backpack that will be filled with dreams and aspirations to succeed and become the best you can be.”

Kerevi acknowledged Rugby Australia in extending their support as a primary partner for the Christmas backpack project.

The rising star encouraged the children of Koro to accept the gift as an inspiration to becoming a shining star for their families, communities, country and the world.

“You are the change agents they will look up to when you take the first step to be at peace with your loved ones and remember Christmas is not about the past it is the present.”

Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou said the emotional and physical trauma of Tropical Cyclone Winston will remain in our hearts and minds forever however it offered important lessons we could learn from.

Wallaby centre Samu Kerevi presents “Back to School Backpacks” to a Koro Island student on December 21, 2017. Photo:  Ministry of Youth  and Sports.

Wallaby centre Samu Kerevi presents “Back to School Backpacks” to a Koro Island student on December 21, 2017. Photo: Ministry of Youth and Sports.

He said there was a need for stringent mechanisms to be implemented to counter changing weather patterns.

He said COP23 President and Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama was committed to drawing global attention on the impacts of climate change and its effects on Pacific Island countries.

He encouraged villagers to enjoy the Christmas Carols programme organised for them as Christmas is a time to pause and reflect on things which were dear to us.

“We note that the gifts are linked to education. That is because of this government’s commitment to providing free education based on our belief that it is the critical foundation for a child’s future,” Tuitubou said.

“This time of year is once again a reminder to all of us to be happy, to work hard and to seek to achieve our potential in life.”

Foundation president Ganesh Sen said Christmas carols in Koro was a special treat for an island that had gone through testing times in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Winston.

“I must commend the island community for showing resilience and tenacity and going back to their roots in stimulating the traditional knowledge and skills to deal with such unexpected events,” Sen said.

“Education is the pillar of any society. Education provides opportunities to engage, to be tolerant, to be curious, to be happy and to become a contributing citizen.”

Edited by Osea Bola

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