A great team player

Empower Pacific Transport Manager Ajit Prasad. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Every member of a team is valuable and important. That is something Ajit Kumar believes in. Even though he is not a counsellor or social worker, he is nonetheless an important employee of Empower Pacific.

He has been with the organisation since 2014 and currently works as its transport manager and mechanic. Mr Prasad, who is based at the Empower Pacific head office on 8 Waya Street in Lautoka, is responsible for the organisation’s fleet.

He was born in Buca Bay, in the province of Cakaudrove. Vanua Levu and was educated up to Form 5. He decided to move to Viti Levu in 1992 and made Lautoka his home and worked at various places before finding employment at Empower Pacific.

Talking about his job, he said, “I’m not a counsellor or anything but I like everything about my work .” “I’ve experienced a lot in my life and I’m very happy with where I am now,” he said.

Being responsible for the organisation’s fleet of vehicles, he often takes Empower Pacific teams to the field. He took teams after Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston struck Fiji on February 20, 2016 and caused massive destruction.

He drove a team of counsellors and social workers to the Rakiraki and Tailevu areas where major damage from the cyclone was recorded. “I stayed in Rakiraki for two weeks with the teams and worked in the area that suffered massive destruction and lost some lives,” he said.

“It was a very emotional moment for me to see people who were affected by the cyclone. Our teams did their best in Rakiraki and Tailevu but five years after Severe TC Winston struck Tropical Cyclone Yasa made landfall in Bua, Vanua Levu on December 17, 2020.

Mr Prasad drove a truckload of bottled water for distribution to people affected by TC Yasa in Labasa, Savusavu and Nabouwalu.

He spent a few weeks in Labasa, where teams went out for Psychological First Aid (PFA) sessions with cyclone victims. Apart from being active during humantarian disasters, he also transports Empower Pacific teams for the Rights, Empowerment and Cohesion (REACH) programs in the Western Division.

Mr Prasad also makes necessary transport arrangements to deliver relief packs to the organisation’s branches around the country when the need arises.

“I was also very much involved during the COVID-19 pandemic, taking the teams out for PFA and giving relief packs to people in need,” he said.

“I’m happy to work for an organisation like Empower Pacific. We have a very nice, qualified team of counsellors and social workers. Then we have other excellent team members too.”

Mr Prasad said he was grateful to work for an organisation that cared about the mental health of people by providing counselling and social support.

“So if you are going through issues that affect your mental health, then do call our toll free helpline 5626 at any time and talk to our counsellors who will surely assist you,” he said.

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