27 March, 2018, 12:00 am
The smile that touched the heart
On Saturday March 10, a group of young men gathered together for a mission they had all earlier agreed to.
As a matter of fact majority of them had been together on several missions. Some spent the same number of years together in high school; they played together, shared secrets, fought with each and for each other and the constant jokes and laughter memories most of them still cherish even though they have left school more than a decade ago.
Then there are those older ones or much more younger ones, but due to the strength of the brotherhood of their alumni and the values enquired back in school, all have become very close friends, close enough to be considered family. As is the norm “boys will be boys” these men have done things together mainly for fun and laughter and also trying to restore humanity.
Earlier in the year the group embarked on its first mission of 2018 giving school supplies to schools that are still recovering from the impact of Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston and to less fortunate children who survive on a day to day basis with parents struggling to put food on the table.
That overwhelming feeling of satisfaction that they have managed to lend a helping hand will go a long way, they all share while reminiscing that experience.
Then on March 10, 2018 the same group that wishes to remain anonymous embarked on its second mission of the year to feed the homeless and street dwellers of Lautoka.
Everyone was tasked to do something, everyone sharing equal roles and responsibilities. Amidst this, as always, there was always the jokes, the fun and the laughter. There were the constant spoiling of each other of past incidents and then came the time when they had to hit the streets to hand out the food packs to those who have called this side of the world their home.
“You know as always there were a lot of jokes and laughs but when it was time to hand out the food, the mood changed.
“Silently some hid their emotions, all of us were touched, hardly anyone uttered a word, this was truly an emotional experience.
“Hard to contain and accept the realities that these people survive on meal to meal basis, while we are prepared the best meal and sleep in a comfortable bed.
“When one receives their food-pack they call the others. They look after each other.
“They hope for good Samaritans to give them food, they scavenge for leftovers just so to give them enough energy to live by for the next day,” were the remarks of one of the members of the group.
The Fiji Times was shown pictures of the homeless when they received their food-pack; that beautiful smile and feeling of gratitude knowing that they are not forgotten.
“When they said thank you after being given their food-pack and they smiled at us, you can feel it and for all of us it was really an emotional experience.
“When we returned no one uttered a word, everyone was touched to see there are unfortunate ones around us. We realise how we take things for granted not knowing there are people who look for scratches to fill their tummy, hardly had any shower and can drink probably two cups of water a day.”
For the group their mission is not yet over, there is still some more they are planning for this year.
As for this second mission, they all agree.