With the help of Canada Bay Club, Inner West local Tegan Anthes was able to volunteer for a build in Fiji with Habitat for Humanity in 2016. Tegan had been looking a various volunteering opportunities when a friend had shared their experience with Habitat and building a home in Nepal.
Tegan made the trip to Fiji with the help of donations from friends, family and the support from Canada Bay Club. She was part of a team that worked on a home build from the ground up. In just a week they turned a humble family’s home from a single room dwelling with no running water – or solid grounding to protect them from heavy weather – into a safe home for generations. Digging holes, nailing beams down and working together, the group transformed the site into a home, with rooms and a solid foundation making it secure against the cyclones that had ravaged the area only months before.
“I want to express my gratitude for the sponsorship that you provided to enable me to take part in a build for Habitat for Humanity,” Tegan says. “It was an experience that I will never forget. There was a great sense of purpose and satisfaction being part of a construction team building a house for someone in need.”
“Each day we could see the progress and this experience was shared intimately with the family,” Tegan recalls. “The father worked alongside us building his home. The mother prepared meals for us and was so welcoming. And the children were around the site every day, occasionally helping to carry supplies. We constructed some simple wooden toys for them from the off-cuts from the timber.”
An unforgettable encounter
“The experience in Fiji was both rewarding and humbling. To see what a Fijian family have in their life,” reflects Tegan. “Their material possessions are meagre, but they are full of love, fun and happiness. It makes one reflect on our own lives, possessions and what’s important.”
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