Operations Manager for Field Ready Fiji Jean Mathias has been recognized as one of the many heroes on World Humanitarian Day that works closely with the Ministry of Health in making sure that the people’s needs are met especially through building proper sanitation to avoid the spread of water borne diseases.
It has been highlighted that women empowerment continues to echo in Fiji as more women venture into disaster response work and Mathias is no stranger when it comes to making sure that local communities are equipped with stocks.
The Fiji Red Cross Society in partnership with the National Disaster Management Office, United Nations and Fiji Council of Social Services launched and celebrated World Humanitarian Day at the Suva Civic Centre today.
This year’s World Humanitarian Day honours and recognises the front-line health workers, including doctors and nurses, and those who risk their lives and work tirelessly to ensure that everyone has access to health services during the COVID-19 pandemic and all other emergencies.
The volunteers from Fiji’s Council of Social Services were also recognized for their work. They were among the first to launch risk communication and community engagement on COVID-19, as the country went into lockdown in March 2020. Engaged for three months, the volunteers transitioned into working on the response to Tropical Cyclone Harold, where they identified communities in need of food donations, clean water and sanitation, shelter support and other life-saving items. The FCOSS volunteers were also active and delivering this relief to the people affected by the cyclone. At the policy level, FCOSS engaged with decision-makers to ensure that government interventions had a people-centred approach, informed by the real experiences and needs of people in affected communities.
Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, Inia Seruiratu says he appreciates the efforts of these real-life Fijian heroes, those first responders who shield our people from great threats, putting their safety aside for the sake of others.
The Director General for Fiji Red Cross Society Ilisapeci Rokotunidau says there are more than 700 volunteers spread throughout their 16 branches in Fiji and they are the real life heroes.
World Humanitarian Day is held every year on 19th August to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and to rally support for people affected by crises around the world.
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