In Fiji, the daily numbers of Covid-19 are rising exponentially, and Rotary Fiji is extremely active on a daily basis helping those in dire need.  One incredible initiative has seen collaboration between Lanaco Company in NZ and Rotary in New Zealand and Fiji that is the donation and distribution of  N95 face masks to the underprivileged in Fiji.
28,000 face masks are being distributed to communities throughout Fiji through the combined efforts of Rotary Clubs in New Zealand and Fiji, from two Rotary District 9940 and 9920.
The face masks were generously donated to Rotary District 9940 in New Zealand by renowned air filter company Lanaco and were shipped to Fiji through the financial support of the Rotary Club of Awapuni in New Zealand, and three Rotary Clubs in Fiji - Rotary Club of Suva East, Suva and Suva North.
The face masks are high quality combination earl loop or head strap masks allowing the best possible fit – essential for protection at the highest level. Valued at NZD 195,000 they are manufactured to N95 levels,  providing a higher degree of protection compared to surgical and cloth masks by way of filter technology developed in New Zealand by Lanaco.
Rotary Fiji (consists of 8 Rotary Clubs and 2 Rotaract Clubs in Fiji) has this week begun donating the masks to rural communities, informal settlements, and villages on Viti Levu. Some masks are being distributed through Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office and Medical Services Pacific. Nakini Village in Naitasiri and Qauia Village in Lami were also given some face masks yesterday. Rotary Clubs in Lautoka, Nadi and Rakiraki also support distribution with communities they work with.
Rotary member Adrienne Murray of the Porirua Club in District 9940 said that this is an outstanding example of the use of networks within and across Rotary to achieve outcomes in a very short period of time.  Adrienne had the network with Lanco and knew that following the perceived downturn of need in NZ that there were masks sitting in the warehouse.
Lanco agreed immediately saying that this was a good use of the masks, and they would donate them.  Adrienne contacted Venkatesh who is a friend in the Rotary Club of Awapuni and between them they were able to use additional contacts and the remarkable support of Lanaco to ship the masks to Fiji.  The partnerships across Rotary and the extended networks of members enable “things to happen” she said.
In Fiji there has been a project-specific Face Mask Working Group established to work within the existing Rotary Fiji Covid Assistance structure (see the story at ).  This Working Group ensures the storage and distribution via the Rotary Fiji network to those communities and people most in need of these masks, in particular those people and families who could not otherwise afford this vital protection.
The masks come in packs of 2 masks.  The process for distribution of the masks is very controlled and occurs in a variety of ways including adding masks to Rotary Baby Essential packs and food parcels, individual Rotarians distributing to assigned communities and Rotarians also handing these out at assigned markets, supermarkets, bus stops etc.  Distribution is also aided by organisations such as the Fiji National Disaster Management Office, and Medical Services Pacific to settlements and villages in remote rural communities that Rotary would otherwise not reach.
Rotary District 9920 Area Governor Poasa Werekoro said given the rising number of COVID-19 infections in Fiji, the donation was timely and very much appreciated. 
“Many Fijians are having to make the stark choice of prioritising spending what little they have on food over face masks.  Face masks can be expensive and inaccessible for some high-risk and vulnerable communities.  Rotary Fiji hopes the face masks will be used wisely by recipients to protect them against COVID-19,” said Mr. Werekoro.
A second consignment containing 53,000 face masks are expected to arrive in Fiji next month and will be similarly distributed to communities that especially need them.
Rotary Fiji pleads with everyone in Fiji to adhere to all COVID-19 protocols and assist in stopping the spread of the virus.

A huge thank you to all involved including the Rotarians on the ground in Fiji contributing countless hours to distribute these masks, the Rotarians who are/have helped the organisation of this huge initiative, and Lanaco for their incredibly generous donation of these masks 
For more information, please contact:
Rotary District 9940 Area Governor Manawatu Venkatesh Kannan  Email:    
Rotary District 9920 Area Governor Fiji Poasa Werekoro  Email:    Phone: +679 7399950