SISTERS Veena Tilly and Munjula Watts have a special feeling for their birthplace despite residing more than 1000 miles away in their adopted home in Australia.
For the past few years, the sisters have been instrumental in initiating and implementing developments at Drasa Secondary School on the outskirts of Lautoka City.
They assisted in the construction of the learning centre's new woodwork room, computer room, multimedia room and the school library.
The Fiji Times visited the school and met the sisters who joined their fellow Rotarians working on the new projects.
Project co-ordinator Mrs Tilly said they not only participated in the contribution of money and school equipment but also on the ground doing the required work.
She said the idea to help the school started in 2005 after working with the Rotary Fiji schools team at Koroipita Village.
"We supplied 400 books and 40 computers for the newly-built multimedia room at the school," said Mrs Tilly.
"As a teacher, I want to support students who come from a village to the local school and we have also provided furniture in other schools as well.
"Since this school wanted to develop vocational catering we were lucky to have the assistance of my sister who has a restaurant in Adelaide.
"The new project is to include a dining room, proper bar, restaurant and storeroom and students will be also taught various lessons in commercial catering."
Mrs Watts said she wanted to join her sister in assisting the students of Drasa.
"I have only come to Drasa for the last two years to help my sister with the projects," she said.
"It's important to do this project for us as a family because we are from here and we were born on Luvu road in Drasa and our late father was an important member of the community here.
"These projects are made in memory of him and our emphasis is helping the students of Drasa."
School principal Parnesh Naidu said the establishment of a new catering and hospitality training facility at the school would allow students to develop industry standard skills to enable immediate transition into the workforce.
"This will in turn support the economy with skilled persons that can fill positions in the hospitality industry in Fiji," he said.
"This is a very innovative project, we have had the catering school here since 2005 when the Ministry of Education provided us with the equipment to start this program and gave us the approval for vocational catering.
"We are very fortunate that Munjula and her husband Andrew together with Mrs Tilly Andrew have stepped in to this worthy project."
He said this year the team consisted of Rotarians and volunteers from Tasmania, Northern NSW, Victoria and Fiji.