Members of the Oceania Dance Academy doing a performance during the Vueti Viti concert.
The ‘Vueti Viti’ concert was successfully hosted by The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies (OCACPS) on 9 April, 2016 in aid of the victims of Tropical Cyclone Winston (TC Winston).
The fundraiser comprised live performances by local artistes and the Oceania Dance group with the theme "Together We Are Stronger".
In his keynote address, USP’s Vice-President Regional Campuses, Dr Giulio Paunga thanked the audience for supporting this worthy cause.
Prior to the concert, a minute’s silence was observed to remember those that lost their lives during TC Winston and for those affected, in finding the strength to move forward during this difficult time.
“As the first part of a broader support towards Fiji’s relief efforts, the University has donated FJ$100,000.00 to the Prime Minister’s Natural Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Fund,” Dr Paunga said.
He further highlighted that on Tuesday, 8 March, 2016, a USP Cyclone Relief Committee was formed to give direction to a range of relief initiatives undertaken by various stakeholders within the University.
These include staff appeal, student association fundraisers, T-shirt fundraisers, availing of support services such as counselling, Pacific Market Days and stationery and book drives to assist secondary schools in cyclone-affected areas.
Dr Paunga said the Oceania Centre’s Pacific Outreach Programme for Polynesia (POPP) in Apia, Samoa also organised a drive on 20 March, 2016 to raise funds for the children of Fiji as part of the USP TC Winston Appeal.
“Together with businesses and the people of Samoa, they raised a total of $25,000 tala through donations, an auction and pledges,” he noted.
As an added boost to the fundraiser, local designers and artists donated their creativity to be auctioned.
The auctioneer, Bernadette Rounds Ganilau with her renowned charismatic personality created a competitive environment which led to the success of the auction.
The funds collected from this fundraiser would be directed to the TC Winston relief efforts by the University and would be released after tallying all collection from the different fundraising initiatives in place.
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