As the winds came howling through Delakado on that day, infrastructures entirely collapsed and homes came crumbling down. All but one. The 300 inhabitants of the village somehow managed to hide under the floorboards of a house that was built with a higher standard. The strongest stood above and with all their might, held the walls up until the storm subsided. Amazingly, no one was killed. It was a miraculous community effort which paved the way for the reconstruction process.
When the response team of All Hands Volunteers arrived on the site, they found a community determined to rebuild itself in the face of adversity.
Driven by a true spirit of volunteerism, local Fijians believe that “community comes first, the individual second”. Following this philosophy, any tension or disaster can be alleviated by a collaboration supported by extensive connectedness.
As the staff member Gary Pitts explains: “The community have really come out to support the teams in the field. We have been welcomed with open arms, we have seen volunteers from all parts of the social structure in the village, including the Village Headman who has worked right along our side”.
The All Hands Volunteers NGO and Fijians worked to displace the rubbles and debris and rebuilt safe homes for the people of Delakado. No matter how shattered, torn, and dusty the task, the people of Delakado believe anything can be rebuilt if everyone works together.
This piece was originally published on 27 April 2016.
This story is published as part of the campaign for International Volunteer Day 2017: Volunteers Act First. Here. Everywhere.