Rise Beyond the Reef

Recently, I spent a few days with Janet Lotawa from Rise Beyond the Reef, a non-profit that aims to alleviate poverty in remote communities through a variety of programs.

The projects we covered in the handful of days we travelled, were predominately for empowering women by teaching them to produce marketable goods using traditional skills.

Our projects incorporate mechanisms for sustainable self-sufficiency.
We are developing opportunities for businesses, tourists and volunteers to connect appropriately and sustainably with remote communities.

Their latest project “Shelter from the Storm” focuses on communities that were extremely affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston.  Verevere in Ra was one such village we visited. Virtually every structure in the village had been flattened by the cyclone, and four months later, this small community was still rebuilding with the help of volunteers.  Portraits from here included a woman who had flashbacks of the storm every time she hung out her washing, as that’s what she was doing when the cyclone began.  Sadly, she and many like her will have to try and work out their PTSD without proper counselling, as Fiji just doesn’t have the resources to cope with something of this magnitude.

Nestled in the mountains of Sabeto is Navilawa village
Nestled in the mountains of Koroyanitu National Heritage Park is Navilawa village
Instructing the women of Navilawa
Instructing the women of Navilawa
Handicraft at Navilawa
Handicraft at Navilawa
Instructing the women in a recently rebuilt house at Tukuraki, Ba
Instructing the women in a recently rebuilt house at Tukuraki, Ba
This large rock overhang was home to 3 families for a number of weeks at Tukuraki, Ba
This large rock overhang was home to 3 families for a number of weeks at Tukuraki, Ba
This large rock overhang was home to 3 families for a number of weeks at Tukuraki, Ba
This large rock overhang was home to 3 families for a number of weeks at Tukuraki, Ba
Painted river rocks are helping earn much needed income in the "Shelter from the Storm" initiative
Painted river rocks are helping earn much needed income in the “Shelter from the Storm” initiative
Instructing the women in a recently rebuilt house at Tukuraki, Ba
Instructing the women in a recently rebuilt house at Tukuraki, Ba
Rara village, Ba
Rara village, Ba
Rara Village
Rara Village
The women of Rara village weaving mats for supply to markets organised by Rise Beyond the Reef
The women of Rara village weaving mats for supply to markets organised by Rise Beyond the Reef
Weaving a mat in Rara village, Ba
Weaving a mat in Rara village, Ba

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Voivoi
Voivoi
Stone tools found in Ra
Stone tools found in Ra
TC Winston survivor, Verevere, Ra
Portrait of a TC Winston survivor, Verevere, Ra
TC Winston survivor, Verevere, Ra
Portrait of a TC Winston survivor, Verevere, Ra
TC Winston survivor, Verevere, Ra
Portrait of a TC Winston survivor, Verevere, Ra
Getting their food growing is a major priority, Saioko Village
Getting their food growing is a major priority, Saioko Village
Temporary shelter and a garden on the foundations of a former house in Saioko village, Ra
Temporary shelter and a garden on the foundations of a former house in Saioko village, Ra
Training in Saioko, Ra
Training in Saioko, Ra
Instructing the women of Saioko, Ra
Instructing the women of Saioko, Ra
Experimenting with the electric drill, Saioko village.
Experimenting with the electric drill, Saioko village.

Tuvalu Time

This month I had the pleasure of spending a couple of days in Tuvalu, on the island of Fogafale which is one of the 30 islands that makes the coral atoll that is Funafuti.  I was there to capture images of a dredging and seawall project being undertaken by Hall Contracting on behalf of the Tuvaluan Government.

Tuvalu is recognised as being the first country that will disappear due to climate change – an increase in sea level of just 20-40cm would make Tuvalu uninhabitable.

Here are some of the images I shot for Hall.

The stars fade as dawn breaks
The stars fade as dawn breaks
Pre-start lineup
Pre-start lineup
Fishing at Dawn
Fishing at Dawn

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Kids play on the dredge pipeline
Kids play on the dredge pipeline
Happy faces
Happy faces

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Playing on a portion of beach that was just created that day
Playing on a portion of beach that was just created that day
Rugby on the beach is now a possibility for the children of Fogafale
Rugby on the beach is now a possibility for the children of Fogafale
Hoping to catch dinner
Hoping to catch dinner
Kids taking shelter from the sun in a J-bin
Kids taking shelter from the sun in a J-bin

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Rain is the island's only source of fresh water
Rain is the island’s only source of fresh water

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Vatu Vara

Recently, I was fortunate enough to travel to Kaibu Island to spend a few days out on the breathtakingly beautiful resort of Vatu Vara.  This private luxury resort has just 3 villas, and some of the most stunning blue water views I have ever seen.

For more information on this stunning location, check out their website.
All images are mine, except for the aerial image.
Their site was designed by YesOpen.

Love the rustic construction of the thatched hut on the Villa Delana beach
Love the rustic construction of the thatched hut on the Villa Delana beach
A Pakapaka being prepared for a dinner feast at Valhalla Restaurant
A Pakapaka being prepared for a dinner feast at Valhalla Restaurant
The freshest catch has the fullest flavour!
The freshest catch has the fullest flavour!
A team of gardeners carefully tend the fully organic herb & vegetable garden every day.
A team of gardeners carefully tend the fully organic herb & vegetable garden every day.
Jim’s Bar & Grill – The best place to chomp on a burger in the South Pacific
Jim’s Bar & Grill – The best place to chomp on a burger in the South Pacific
The views from any of the 3 villa’s are always breathtaking
The views from any of the 3 villa’s are always breathtaking
Just you, a pair of hammocks and the Pacific Ocean
Just you, a pair of hammocks and the Pacific Ocean
Villa Vatu sun deck view to Vatu Vara
Villa Vatu sun deck view to Vatu Vara
It doesn't get much better than this!
It doesn’t get much better than this!
Dusk views from Villa Vatu
Dusk views from Villa Vatu
The inviting glow of Jim's Bar and Grill under the stars
The inviting glow of Jim’s Bar and Grill under the stars
Pausing to enjoy the views on the way to the abandoned village fort
Pausing to enjoy the views on the way to the abandoned village fort
The island of Vatu Vara
The island of Vatu Vara