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New laptops bring smiles and knowledge to rural Fijian school…

November 1, 2013 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

Sigatoka River Safari once again showed how the company continues to give back to the Fijian villages and people they work with, after the company assisted in purchasing 10 new laptops for Mavua District School, a resource unheard of in schools in the rural areas.

Established in the 1930’s in Raiwaqa Village in the Sigatoka Valley, Mavua District School enrols primary students from the neighbouring villages of Mavua, Vunarewa, Tubairata and Raiwaqa. Three of these villages are part of the extended Safari family and when owner, Australian, Jay Whyte first began the company in 2006 he committed to support the 15 villages he works with.

SONY DSC“One of the main reasons I started the safari is to give back to the vanua (people) of Navosa and this would not have been possible without the support from our friends who’ve experience the safari.” Said Jay Whyte, Sigatoka River Safari and Off Road Caves Safari, founder and CEO.

Mavua District School first had the chance to purchase the laptops through Vodafone Fiji who has an education initiative known as the 50/50 program, whereby schools pay 50% of the cost of laptops. The school then reached out to Jay for assistance in their 50% payment.

“When the school came to me and asked me to assist them in getting the laptops I didn’t hesitate in saying yes. Very few schools in rural areas of Fiji can afford laptops and to have them is such a great opportunity for children to learn computer skills which are so important in the world today,” Continues Mr Whyte.

The Head Master of Mavua District School, Mr Seru showed his appreciation on behalf of the school and village by having a traditional sevusevu ceremony for Jay and thanking him for making a difference in the lives of the children of Mavua District School.

“We are so fortunate to receive our 10 new laptops this term through 50/50 Vodafone promotions and we are so thankful to Jay and the Sigatoka River Safari team for assisting us with payment for our share,” said Mr Seru.

“This opens a new chapter for our school as we’ve started computer lessons for all classes and this is the only time students get to interact with computers, as most of them don’t have the privilege of such luxurious technology in their households,” he added.

Visiting the school last week, Jay Whyte was happy to hear that the students loved their “new class”.

“Seeing the children’s faces during their computer class was amazing as they were very excited and happy to be learning computer skills. Being able to support villages and schools like this definitely makes my job even more worthwhile.” Adds Jay.

The school also has two volunteers from Australia, Miss. Corina and Miss. Michelle who have been teaching the students the basics of computing.

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