Bula Vinaka! | Curative set sights in Fiji
Our friends at the Fred Hollows Foundation approached us late last year with a special secret project they were launching in Fiji in collaboration with the Pacific Eye Institute, Fiji Water and other sponsors. We were tasked with the challenge of creating the overall look and feel for the Mobile Eye Clinic. It had to be welcoming, vibrant, friendly, culturally sensitive, truly representative of Fijians, and resonate with the locals…A creative challenge we were definitely up for!
The Mobile Eye Clinic was transported to Fiji from Auckland, and officially launched in Suva, Fiji on 14 April 2015 with their Minister of Health.
Last month, coincidentally the whole Curative crew was in Fiji for Eddy Helm’s Royal’s wedding!
So whilst we were there in the week leading up to the wedding, we decided to take a “tiki tour” around Suva (40 mins out from where we were staying). However, with no wifi, and a malfunctioning GPS system we really had no idea where it was and/or how to get there, but decided to start our “tiki tour mission” at the Pacific Eye Institute (PEI).
Initially when we enquired, there was a few strange/confused looks, although some super friendly staff then pointed us in the direction of Wainibokasi Hospital in Nausori (10mins “Fiji time” from PEI) and a guy called Tima, who was working at the Mobile Eye Clinic. So we were off on our mission again, and after a few detours, U-turns and wrong turns, and more than 10-mins “Fiji-time” later we finally managed to find Wainibokasi Hospital in Nausori, where the Mobile Eye Clinic was parked right in front of the hospital for all to see!
It was quite a proud moment of Curative’s, to see something we played a small part in helping to create, delivering some much needed services. We met Tima and he mentioned that they see over 300 patients a week, however they can only perform up to 6 operations a day, and at this particular location, they only had enough resources to perform those operations on Tuesday. They currently have one surgeon, from Pakistan, but to help meet the demand they’re still in need of two more doctors. It was great to see the MEC in action, however it’s apparent that there’s a lot more demand in the community than they're capable of servicing at this point in time. Despite that, they are all really optimistic about the change they are able to create within the current resources, and the overall response from their community has been very positive.
Another moment in Fiji, I was personally and particularly proud of, was seeing my 3B’s (best friend, business partners & bridesmaid) walk well... actually skip down the aisle! It was a momentous occasion, with months/years of planning in the lead up to it, lots of laughter and happy tears. It was truly special to have much of the Curative crew present at The Royal Wedding.
Jess, our amazing new designer confidently held the fort whilst we were away! Even though it was sad she couldn’t join us, it really taught us the importance of implicitly trusting your team, sometimes chucking them into the deep end to see if they sink or swim (in this case, Jess is an olympic swimmer) and well for us it was about the importance of taking time out for the important things in life.