Located 10,096 miles away from Cardiff and made up of 330 islands, Fiji is the one of the most picturesque islands of the South Pacific. Renowned for it's Fiji Water and sugarcane exports, talented rugby players and idyllic beaches, Fiji is a once in a lifetime holiday destination for many people. But even with
its abundance of forest, mineral, and fish resources, the Fiji Islands
are still a much under-developed economy.
Following Jacks death, the Foundations aims are simple...TO MAKE
A DIFFERENCE for the BETTER. We want to make a massive difference
to lives in Fiji in Jacks name; to make a difference to young lives in
a country which Jack held so close to his heart and fell in love with
from the moment he arrived.
WHY NAQIA, FIJI?
Luisa's family on her father’s side, originates from Naqia, Fiji and following Jack and Luisa's engagement in 2013, Luisa took Jack to Fiji to officially introduce him to her family as her future husband.
Jack took to living in Fiji as if he had been there all his life. He adored the unique pace of Island life, notoriously known as "Fiji time", i.e. "I'll be there when I'm there!" He loved the culture, the mind-set of taking each day as it comes and actually enjoying living each day by your own rules opposed to the daily grinds of city life. It was often joked that Jack was a "kaiviti" (a true Fijian), at heart.
Following Jacks death, Jack's father John decided that as a family something positive had to come from Jacks untimely death. Something life-changing for the greater good had to be done to try and outweigh the anguish and pain that was felt from Jacks death. As a family, it was decided that we would approach the elders of Naqia village and explain that as Jack held Fiji so close to his heart, it was only fitting that we try and change lives in Fiji, all in Jacks name.
After approaching Luisa's Uncle, the Chief of Naqia village, in regards to what would benefit the community most, Sylvia, Luisa's cousin responded informing us there were no acceptable facilities close by where the younger children could go to school. After many plans and conversations regarding the logistics of building a pre-school in the village, it was decided, the Jack Berry Kindergarten Memorial School was to be built
Not only will the building of the Jack Berry Memorial Kindergarten School benefit the educational future of the children of Naqia and the surrounding communities, it will also help restore the picturesque village to what it was prior to the devastating damage caused by Cyclone Winston back in 2016. The facilities we are planning to build in Naqia will help restore the feeling of positivity and help rebuild a community back to the affectionate family it once was.
Winston affected Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu and parts of Queensland, Australia. It was the most intense tropical storm recorded in the Southern Hemisphere and in total caused $1.4 billion USD in damage, with it's peak intensity hitting Fiji. Fiji's Eastern Division (where Naqia is located), sustained catastrophic damage. Entire communities were destroyed and approximately 40,000 people required immediate assistance. The nation was declared a state of emergency for 60days and Naqia was one of those communities which suffered that devastation.
The video below taken following the immediate aftermath of Cyclone Winston, shows the extent of the damage caused to the small village of Naqia.