Ambassador Shmuel Ben-Shmuel’s visit to Vuma Fiji

July 29, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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Israel’s Ambassador to Australia and non-resident Ambassador to Fiji and Papa New Guinea, Shmuel Ben-Shmuel has attended a ceremony n the village of Vuma on the island of Ovalau in Fiji celebrated the completion of an Israeli led aid and disaster relief project.

Students of Delana Methodist with the Ambassador and Comm. Eastern, Mr Moroivalu

Students of Delana Methodist with the Ambassador and Comm. Eastern, Mr Moroivalu

This project had been initiated in response to the devastation wrought by Cyclone Winston, which struck Fiji in late February and completely destroyed Vuma village.

The rebuilding of Vuma involved adopting a holistic approach which combined Israeli diplomatic initiative and technical support with local and regional volunteers who assisting in providing individual and community outreach. Working with the International

The Ambassador with the people of Vuma

The Ambassador with the people of Vuma

Development branch of the Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs, “Mashav”, a team of specialists from the NGO “IsraAID” alongside members of the Israeli Embassy based in Canberra and members of the NGO Island Breeze, the project provided much-needed relief to the disaster struck village.

The Israeli led mission was among the first on the ground in the aftermath of Cyclone Winston and in the immediate 2 weeks after the disaster had managed to rebuild almost the entire village. During this period the team rebuilt a total of 24 houses in addition to providing crucial services such as water treatment, sanitation needs and psycho-social support.

Ambassador Ben-Shmuel receives the 'kamunaga' from the people of Vuma

Ambassador Ben-Shmuel receives the ‘kamunaga’ from the people of Vuma

Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador Ben-Shmuel was proud to see all that had been accomplished on behalf of Israel and it emphasized Israel’s strong relationship with the people of Fiji.

“I am delighted to be here and hear the people laughing. To be with strong friends of ours, strong friends of Israel.

“It’s good to see the people of Vuma laughing again,”

The model of reconstruction and the holistic approach initiated and carried out by the Israeli team is to be utilized in the ongoing reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts of villages throughout Fiji.

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