Auckland, November 20, 2019
The Friends of Fiji Heart Foundation is celebrating a record fundraising result at this year’s annual dinner.
The function at the Pullman Hotel raised $300,000 for the Foundation’s ongoing work bringing lifesaving operations for needy people in Fiji.
the Trust was humbled and overwhelmed by the generosity of the people.
Their generosity was undoubtedly triggered by the strength of the cause; the lives of thousands of people are massively impacted with live-changing surgeries.
The Foundation harnesses the skills of New Zealand based medical, nursing and technical personnel, who once a year donate their time to perform free open heart surgery and other cardiac procedures in Fiji.
The annual mission to Fiji has now been running for fourteen years and is underpinned by the hard work of the Foundation Trustees who invest hundreds of hours of logistical support to enable top-of–the-line cardiac equipment and supplies by sea and air from Auckland.
Their time, like that of their medical colleagues is given free and the net result is that each year’s mission is achieved with zero administration cost.
Other help comes from medical supplies companies who donate tens of thousands worth of cardiac equipment for free.
The Foundation continues to widen its scope beyond treatment-based initiatives to include earlier intervention, prevention, educational and training initiatives for the people of Fiji.
The Foundation is thankful to the people who attended the annual dinner and gave generously to help the poor and most vulnerable segment of the Fijian community.
Our goal is to prioritise the recruitment of people who can contribute $20 per month on an ongoing basis.
While I was overwhelmed by the generosity of the donors, some of whom gave over $30,000 for essential equipment at the fundraiser, I want the average earning people to make their share of contribution of as little as $20 every month to enable the long term sustainability of the mission.
A special appeal will be initiated to encourage contribution of a modest amount by the wider community.
For donations and further information, please visit https://fofhf.org/
A heartening idea
This idea of establishing the Friend of Fiji Heart Foundation was born in 2006 at a luncheon between a few friends, when prominent heart surgeon Dr Parma Nand suggested that we take a medical team to Fiji to perform free heart operations for the poor and needy patients.
While the suggestion was commendable, the challenge of logistics was overwhelming. We therefore decided to intensify our efforts and evolve a proper plan of action with a time frame for delivery of the free service.
Among the initial issues that occupied our attention were (a) establishment of a Trust, complying with all the relevant rules and regulations (b) identification of a team of about 40 members including medical practitioners (c) procuring equipment and (d) mobilisation of at least $120,000 to meet travel, accommodation, freight, insurance and other costs.
We raised $85,000 through several charity functions and generous public donations to accomplish the first mission.
But concern over the sustainability of the worthy project remained.
A large measure of the success of this project was also due to the diverse skills and expertise of the Trustees of the Foundation.