As we have mentioned in the past, one of Fiji’s most precious natural resources is its people. The warm white sand and crystal clear turquoise water may be the initial draw for visitors to these South Pacific islands, but Fiji’s beautiful and warm-hearted people make Fiji holidays truly memorable.
The Start of the Lions Cubs Foundation
In November 2008, Navutu Stars suffered a great loss when one of their beloved staff, Leone, from Yaqeta Village passed away. Leone was a warm-hearted man who cared for his family of three children, and also for the children of his late brother, who passed the previous August. His wife and pregnant sister-in-law were left to care for eight children with no income to support their education or medical needs. Navutu Stars decided to start an outreach program to help Leone’s children and other children from Yaqeta in need.
Navutu Stars as a Safe-Haven for Fiji
Recently, the President of the Loloma Foundation stayed at Navutu Stars Resort in the wake of a massive and devastating flood. He witnessed firsthand the impact the resort is having on the Fiji community. He writes of the week following the floods:
We were fortunate to be hosted at this very special resort. [Owners] Freddie and Maddi closed their resort for one week so that our medical team could take over the resort and use it as a base for our medical clinics, as well as humanitarian efforts.
Although Manfredi and Maddalena also work closely with the Loloma Foundation, the President spoke highly of their work with the Lions Cubs Foundation:
Freddie and Maddi have also opened up their hearts to the children of these islands. They have formed The Lions Cubs Foundation, adopting 41 children who are either orphaned or with only one parent. They provide not only medical care for the children, but they also pay their school fees, book fees, and uniforms. On the last night of our stay, we were treated to the The Lion Cubs serenading us at sunset on the beach.
As we sipped our mojitos, lingered in the pool, and laid on the lounges, the children of the islands sang to us in perfect harmony and then the sun set….does it get any better than this?
Having the Lions Cubs visit the resort periodically means that the owners, staff and guests of Navutu Stars can watch the children grow and progress. Most recently, one of their Lions Cubs made headlines with his nationally recognized achievements in sports and Navutu Stars couldn’t be more proud.
Inio & the Fiji Rugby Team
Inio Rokomatu isn’t a child anymore. This fierce young man was recently chosen to represent Fiji in the Under-18 National Rugby Team. Inio wrote a touching handwritten letter to the resort to thank them for their years of support and inform them of his selection to the rugby team:
I am Inio Rokomatu of Yaqeta village. I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation for your kind support during my five year term in secondary education. During this time honestly I do admit that I am lucky enough to be given the green light from the [Lions Cubs] club to be supported financially. Praise the Lord.
I would also like to thank the directors, management and staff of Navutu Stars Resort for their kind support. Being supported by an organization worldwide, fully equipped with love is big – the best in my academic career.
I am looking forward to a bright picture regarding my studies, and I have chosen my career for my future endeavors. I would also like to mention here that I have been selected to represent Fiji in the Under-18 [National] Rugby Team, which will be touring the Northern Hemisphere this year.
How You Can Help the Lions Cubs Foundation
If you would like to contribute to the health and education of Fiji’s youth, feel free to ask the team at Navutu Stars how you can get involved during your Fiji holiday — or from the comfort of your own home. Once you’ve returned from your tropical holiday in paradise we can guarantee you won’t be able to get those beautiful beaming faces out of your mind.