Feature

Amazing Fijians Going Above And Beyond To Help Others In Need

At a time where our future seems uncertain because of the COVID-19 crisis, many Fijians are going above and beyond the call to help and assist others. Barter for Better Fiji on Facebook is facilitating a humanitarian movement like the single mother who got more than just her tamarind chutney ingredients, and the hotel worker who traded in her uni textbooks for baby supplies
30 Apr 2020 13:28
Amazing Fijians Going Above And Beyond To Help Others In Need
Temalesi Tauga 42, with her six year-old daughter Keran Alice on April 29, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Temalesi Tauga, 42, had just wanted tamarind so she could kickstart a little business of her own to support her five children and 72-year-old mother.

Now she has an almost new stove, a full cylinder of gas and later this week, she will get ingredients to start a baking business.

Her plea for help on a social media page designed to encourage barter system, showed the acts of kindness Fijians are known for.

Ms Tauga is not only alone, the Barter for Better Fiji page on Facebook has seen many people assisted, above anything it has shown how people have come together during a pandemic which has not even spared the greatest superpowers.

Ms Tauga is a single mother with five children and lives in a house which is a four by two metre shack at Kalekana in Lami.

The tin, wood and other materials used to make her home have been sourced from here and there including materials that had been discarded.

Ms Tauga works as a house-girl but these days, there are not many opportunities.

“You can imagine my surprise when people started helping me. I was given groceries, one person gave me empty bottles for my tamarind chutney, but above all, I have been given a chance at helping my children,” she said.

Mafi Mataika was going through the page when he came across Ms Tauga’s page.

“I had an old oven and I decided to give it to her. Mr and Mrs Khan from Khalsa Road had a gas cylinder, so I picked it up and delivered it to her. We will be going back to her with baking ingredients and some more things,” he said.

Mr Mataika said an anonymous donor had also given some money so some groceries could be bought for the family.

Ms Tauga said she was grateful to God and all those who had helped her.

But, this is just one heartwarming example that this page has created.

Len’s story

In Nadi, Len Yusuf from Nasoso in Nadi, continued selling cakes and pastries despite the effects from COVID-19.

On Tuesday, she was looking for one empty gas cylinder as per her post, little did she know that she would get two empty gas cylinders, a few fish and coconuts.

She was surprised to see Alice Fong from Ba who came all the way to visit her and Sofi Tamata.

On Monday she managed to exchange her chocolate and custard pie with Mere Namalualevu for fresh fish, some coconuts and a brand new pair of shoes.

Good Samaritan

Resort worker,Teresa Naivaluvou, was trading in her USP textbooks for a can of infant formula and two packs of diapers.

FreeBird Institute chief executive officer Mereseini Baleilevuka contacted her and arrived at her home with the baby’s stuff and did not take the textbooks.

The Barter for Better Fiji page was set up by Marlene Dutta. Ms Dutta is no stranger to business in Fiji and the page was set up so people who were facing constraints could trade.

In her daily update, she posted yesterday: “In the spirit of the giving nature of members on this page – we ask that if you are asking for donations or to help people in dire need, to also offer something/anything in return to ensure that the rules of barter apply.

“If commenter’s offer to donate for nothing in return that is awesome but we must be true to our purpose. We ask for your understanding in this.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj


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