Sulueti’s two grandchildren live with her and on the evening Cyclone Winston came they were in her care in the village of Nanukuloa on the northeastern tip of Viti Levu.
Sulueti’s home was completely destroyed, along with dozens of others in the fishing village. She still cannot find her roof, her bed is in a dip below the house and the rest of her belongings are scattered across the village.
Sulueti is not sure how she will be able to rebuild and is worried about the future of her grandchildren.
Sulueti was one of the 10 families waiting within the evacuation centre when the cyclone hit at 7.25pm. Although the village chief had warned everyone, the strength of the cyclone wasn’t mentioned. “We thought it was just like another strong wind warning, we did not expect it to be so strong.”
“(When I saw the house after the storm) I want to burst out in tears. I don’t know what to say, I was shocked and I was silent. I knew that I was homeless. I’m ok but I was thinking of my grandchildren and the children of Nanukuloa. It’s the children who make us feel bad about this because we don’t know what is the future for them.”
Sulueti and her grandchildren are living in the evacuation centre along with other families whose homes have been damaged or destroyed.
“Most kids don’t experience living together in an evacuation centre like this. When the children come and have to live in a big crowded area, they haven’t experienced this before. They are emotionally affected.”
Save the Children has been working in Fiji since 1974. Our focus for this emergency is on education – where our strength lies in Fiji. We are setting up child friendly spaces in evacuation centres and schools, as well as temporary learning spaces so that children can get back to class as soon as possible.