BY DONNA PARKIN — Construction will soon begin on two new classrooms at the Conua School in Fiji’s Sigatoka Valley as part of a direct-action volunteer tourism initiative by Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort.
Speaking at the official groundbreaking ceremony, resort General Manager Peter Hopgood said the project would cost about FJD$80,000 (USD$39,000). “We will fund this with the support of our guests whom we will invite to join us in constructing this new building under the guidance of the engineering team from Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort,” he said.
Peter said that seven years ago when the resort first approached Conua School, there were 55 students. “Today there are over 125 students and 25 kindergarten school children.
“Since Outrigger Fiji Beach resort has been involved with the Conua School, we have a built new library, computer lab, a large meeting bure and last year we opened a new kindergarten.
“We seriously feel we are a part of this community and speaking personally, it has been a great joy to watch these children grow and develop. My team at Outrigger are so proud that we have been able to make a difference in the lives of these students,” he said.
Peter also acknowledged the contribution made by the school management team. “We have a saying at Outrigger that we only help those who help themselves, and the school management team has done just that by committing to contributing $10,000 to this project. The children are our future and the support and assistance that they receive at this young age is invaluable,” he said.
Guests of Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort can visit the project on Tuesdays or Thursdays at a cost of FJD$100 (USD$48) adults and FJD$60 (USD$29) children. The full day excursion includes return transportation to the school, lunch and a visit to the Tavuni Hill Fort on the way home.