Image Label Systems first
set up our Fiji operation in 1996. That's twenty years of working
alongside some of the best people in the business. Our immediate
concern of course, was for the health and safety of our employees
and their families.
REPORTS ALL SAY THE SAME THING
Thankfully, all our staff members and their families were ok in
the end. Although this doesn't mean they weren't unaffected.
Reports coming back to us have one common theme: how terrifying
it all was. The roaring of the wind, the loss of power, the feeling
of helplessness… and it's this emotional impact that can be just as
damaging as any physical or financial loss.
image: courtesy asiapacificreport.nz
AID FROM NEW ZEALAND
We did what little we could to help from New Zealand, by sending
care packages and financial aid. And while these provisions did
help in the immediate aftermath, there is still a lot of work to be
done. The cyclone left tens of thousands homeless, but the real
number may still not be known. Communication to the smaller, more
remote islands was cut off and some, even now, are still having
trouble getting aid.
image courtesy of pin.com.fj
In the days after Cyclone Winston, New Zealand sent HMNZS
Canterbury with tonnes of food, water and building supplies. These
supplies complemented the hundreds of engineers, drivers and
medical support staff that have headed to the islands, forming a
joint task force. The Red Cross is doing an outstanding job
helping, and we've donated to their appeal also. They have boots on
the ground, experienced volunteers, and know where the aid is
needed the most.
When it comes to our business on the islands, we were
fortunate. Our factory remained intact, and while we did lose
power, it was only for a few days.
THE RESILIENCE AND TENACITY OF THE FIJIAN PEOPLE
Our staff were incredible. The commitment they showed was truly
inspiring, and in them we see the resilience of the Fijian people.
Other factories around the islands were not so lucky, especially in
the lower lying areas.
image courtesy of mfat.govt.nz
Flood water is the biggest problem, along with power cuts. The
problem is of course, you can't pump the water out without
electricity, but many factories are now back up and running again,
even if it's on a skeleton crew, and this is a testament to the
spirit of the Fijian people.
Tropical cyclones are not new to this part of the world, and
this is why the people of Fiji understand that life goes on after a
natural disaster. They don't mope around, wondering "why them".
They see what needs to be done and they get on with it.
Schools need to re-open, homes need to be rebuilt.
image courtesy of givealittle.co.nz
It really is humbling to see the human spirit at work, not only
in these small communities, but on a global scale.
We've seen people from all over the world donating money to the
relief fund, wanting to help their fellow man. It's times like
these that bring out the best in humanity.
If you would like to donate to the relief effort, we recommend
using the Red Cross.
You'll find instructions on how to donate here: