Back in history: Students’ outreach project

USP students ready for their voluntary projects around the country . Picture: FILE

In 1984 a group of 30 University of the South Pacific students left for the island of Serua to work on extending a sea wall on the island.

The Fiji Times reported on July 4 that year, that the students were on a two-week semester holiday and had extended 300 metres of sea wall that another group had built the previous year.

More than 130 students spent their holidays in five villages — helping with development projects.

At Soliaga on Beqa Island, one group built water tanks using materials provided by the government.

The second group was on Yanuca Island, helping with house-building and construction of water tanks.

The fencing of a school compound to keep out wild horses and cattle was carried out by the third group.

A fourth group worked on building a large drain, footpaths and water tanks at Nakorovatu in Naitasiri.

The fifth group was on Serua Island and continued work on building the sea wall on the island.

The students, from 11 countries of the regional university, raised funds on their own for the voluntary trips, with a $500 contribution from the USP Students Association and $1000 from vice-chancellor Geoffery Caston.

Since the voluntary projects started six years prior, students had helped build a road on Fulaga, Lau; a sea wall on Gau Island; and at Moala, Lau,they helped villagers tend to plantations damaged by cyclones and hurricanes.

Another group of students from the USP Vanua Levu Association organised a trip on their own to help out at Solevu in Bua.

Association president Josefa Dobui said they were sponsored by Patterson Brothers Shipping Company and would be travelling to Bua on the company’s newly-acquired ship the Jubilee II.

The students helped in the building of a sea wall at Solevu.

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