Community services and engagement activities are an essential component of the Fiji National University’s (FNU) learning and teaching delivery, to ensure its current and former students acquire life skills and knowledge, as well as provide support to those who need it the most. 

A group of FNU alumni recently carried out a community project at the Frank Hilton Organisation (FHO), a charitable organisation in Fiji, which assists the needs of differently-abled children.

The project was coordinated by the FNU’s Alumni Relations Office. Acting Alumni Relations Manager Sharon Chand said being an education provider, FNU recognises FHO’s importance in providing education to children who need special care. 

“This activity was organised keeping in mind the current global crisis which has economically impacted Fiji. It has shown us that we as a university and the alumni community needed to support community development.

It also aligns well with our strategic objectives, said Chand. The Acting Alumni Relations Manager further added that FHO required assistance with cleaning and sorting their inventory room which was done by the FNU alumni team. 

“Our graduates went the extra mile to also assist with some repair works. We did this to support the work of our graduates and to encourage them to continue giving back to the community as well,” stated Chand. 

“We have also provided FHO with monetary assistance. Although it was just a small contribution of $1500 it will, however, greatly assist in the running of the organisation,” she mentioned. 

FNU alumnus Apisake Veitokiyaki who was part of the activity mentioned that he loved the experience of giving back to the community. “We were brought together from what I understood to have different backgrounds and worked together in unison as if we were from the same class for years,” said Veitokiyaki. 

Another former FNU student, Filimone Vatuvoka also shared the same thoughts. “I really felt motivated and encouraged by doing voluntary work for an organisation that really needed it, because it helps us and also the whole community to grow,” he mentioned.

 FHO’s Marketing and Community Support Officer Ashna Kumari thanked FNU for its kind generosity and support. “We are obliged to the Fiji National University for the support rendered towards the care of children and young adults and helping us make a difference in the lives of children with disabilities.

The funds will be utilised for the Hilton Home that caters to needs of residents who need 24-hour special care,” said Kumari. Hilton home is a residence to eleven children, eight of which, are based on permanent care.

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