Samoa's Deputy Prime Minister Honourable Fiame Naomi Mataafa (middle) with some of the artists who participated in the POPP-organised fundraiser in Apia, Samoa for TC Winston victims.
The ‘Fiji Appeal - Save the Children’ fundraiser which was held in Apia, Samoa on 21 March 2016 was a great success with more than $25,000 tala raised.
Head of The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Apia-based Pacific Outreach Programme for Polynesia (POPP), Mr Allan Alo, orchestrated the drive to raise funds for the children of Fiji, as part of USP’s Tropical Winston Appeal.
POPP, which runs under the Faculty of Arts, Language and Education’s (FALE) Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies (OCACPS) promotes the value of connection and interaction between cultures and peoples through the use of artistic works and performances that stimulate people in the many communities in the region.
Mr Alo said the fundraiser called for the goodwill spirit of people to come together and lend a helping hand to the children of Fiji.
“Samoa’s kinship ties with Fiji called for a reconnection that lended a compassionate and helping hand, especially to the children of Fiji,” he said.
A highlight of the programme was the launch of the film ‘Moana - The rising of the sea’ - an Oceania music-dance-drama performed by members of USP’s OCACPS, which drew on the regional and global pressing issue of climate change, and its adverse effects on many small Pacific Island nations.
“A 5-member team from the Oceania Dance Theatre were flown in from USP’s Laucala campus to be the face of Fiji. It was a night of cinematography, dance performances, auctions and pledges from guests,” he said.
According to Mr Alo, the tragedy brought together those who were willing to help make a difference in donating whatever little they could do to help.
“The Samoan proverbial saying ‘E pipi’i tia, ‘ae mamao ala’ is what anchored our initiative and made it local and hence attracted many to help out,” he emphasised.
Translated, the saying reads: “Men are living together on earth, but whether they will ever meet depends on the will of God who may send sickness, storms or other obstacles”.
The fundraiser was organised in collaboration with Save the Children Fiji, Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, Fiji Airways and Apollo Cinemas.
Mr Alo acknowledged the support of USP’s POPP in partnership with Fiji Airways, Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, Apollo Cinema and the people of Samoa who opened their hearts to the children of Fiji.
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