Savusavu Community Foundation is the resort’s main partner in community projects. The SCF was formed in 2003 by philanthropists Ken and Donna Barasch in partnership with the management team of Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort. This foundation is dedicated to the local Fijian community around Savusavu and focuses on health, medical and education needs of the community. All assistance is provided absolutely free. The resort acts as a fundraiser and sources and coordinates projects on the ground for the Foundation. The following are some of the key projects and programs arranged by the Savusavu Community Foundation in partnership with the resort:
Medical Supplies are sourced by SCF and donated to the three hospitals on Vanua Levu. This is a very significant contribution to the region and involves millions of dollars in medical equipment and supplies to these hospitals on an annual basis. In 2013 the total value of items provided was USD$4.2m and the foundation has now donated more than 20 million dollars worth of medical aid since 2003. The resort assists with coordination on the ground.
In 2013 SCF and the resort partnered to build a toilet building for St Andrews Primary School for the benefit of around 200 students. SCF donated the building materials and the resort coordinated the project and provided resort staff to oversee and assist in the construction.
In 2013, SCF partnered with Vodafone to provide 10 laptop computers each to four local schools. The resort assisted with coordinating the project.
In 2014 SCF and the resort partnered to build a kindergarten for Jerusalemi Village. SCF provided the funding for the building and the resort coordinated the project as well as providing resort staff to oversee and assist in the construction.
Each year SCF donates Christmas hampers to 10 villages inthe region. The hampers consist of food staples and farm tools for approximately 25 households per village.
Eye Clinics in Savusavu. Since 2005, regular Eye Clinics have been held at the Savusavu Hospital under the sponsorship of the foundation and the resort. The Eye Clinics typically include vision screening, dispensing of eyeglasses and various eye surgeries, including for cataracts and corneal transplants. Dedicated to improving the eye health of local Fijians, the Eye Clinics were founded in 1991 by California ophthalmologist Dr. Jerold Beeve and his wife Dorothy, a registered nurse, who continue their involvement. Since then, all-volunteer medical teams from various organizations have performed 1748 surgeries and improved the sight of over 21,300 Fijians at no cost to the patients.
Dental Clinics at the Resort. Dental Clinics, under the sponsorship of the foundation, have been held at the resort or local hospital since 2003. The volunteer dental team typically performs hundreds of fillings, extractions, cleanings, and surgeries on resort staff, their families and friends, and local residents. The foundation sets up a complete dental facility at the resort, with over $100,000 of dental equipment, donated through the efforts of a member of the foundation Board. Other dental volunteers visit local schools, providing free fluoride treatments, toothpaste and toothbrushes to approximately 1,500 students each year. To date the clinics have provided dental care to over 250 patients and fluoride treatments for 6,000 students.
Dermatology Clinics. These clinics are also held at the Savusavu Hospital and the resort, without charge. Conducted by a teaching specialist from Australia, the clinics include the distribution of free medicines and a training component for hospital staff. The most recent focus of the program has been to eradicate scabies, an infestation of the skin by microscopic mites.
Orthopedic Clinics at Savusavu Hospital. Well known orthopedic surgeons from Brisbane, Australia, Sean Mullins and a team of surgeons and nurses have held three week-long clinics in Savusavu over the last 4 years. The orthopedic team pays for their own airfares and donates their time, skill and equipment for a week to assist the needs of the community with examinations and surgeries. The resort partners with the team by providing complimentary meals, accommodation and transportation for the team.
Chiropractic Clinics at the local Medical Center. Chiropractor David Leach and partner Beth fell in love with Fiji and decided to bring Chiropractic care to the people of Savusavu. David and Beth trialed their first clinic while holidaying at the resort in 2013, and after an enormous local response commenced regular clinics. They donate their time, skill and equipment for a 5 day clinic to assist the needs of the community with examinations and adjustments, bringing relief to hundreds suffering various spinal and limb ailments. The resort partners with them by providing complimentary meals, accommodation and transportation for. Dr. Ishaque, a local GP who runs the local non-profit privately funded medical clinic, provides his facility and staff to make the appointments happen.
Educating the Community with Ocean Futures Society. In conjunction with Ocean Futures Society, the resort assists with various conservation-related projects, including Project Reef Check. Our newest partnership, the Sustainable Reefs program, helps secondary schools, educators and communities in the Pacific Region to better understand the relationship between healthy reefs and the quality of people’s lives. These efforts enable them to become better stewards of their coral reef resources. Founded by Jean-Michel Cousteau in 1999, Ocean Futures Society’s mission is to explore the global ocean, inspiring and educating people worldwide to act responsibly for its protection, documenting the connection between humanity and nature, and celebrating the ocean’s vital importance to the survival of all life on our planet.
Seacology. Seacology is considered the world’s premier non-profit organization with the sole purpose of preserving the environments and cultures of islands throughout the world. Often the group comes to Fiji to implement its projects. For example, in the village of Nasigasiga, Seacology provided a new water tank and water delivery system in exchange for 350 acres of pristine rainforest reserve. This gave the village running water and flush toilets for the first time.