October 13, 2021

Supporting cyclone recovery in a rural Fiji primary school

To mark International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDRR), we are pleased to share our support for a new learning centre project that champions Fiji’s recovery from the Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Yasa.

To mark International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDRR), we are pleased to share our support for a new learning centre project that champions Fiji’s recovery from the Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Yasa.

Partnering with Aspire Network, a national non-government organisation, the Vunimanuca Learning Centre Project will support education and learning for children in rural areas of Fiji who were badly affected by Cyclone Yasa.

When Tropical Cyclone Yasa struck Vunimanuca Primary—a small, rural community school of around 70 students in the northern part of Fiji—the classrooms lost their roofs and walls, and furniture was destroyed. Furthermore, the cyclone’s 240 kilometre per hour-strong winds and heavy rain destroyed the school’s books and learning materials, leaving the students to continue education in tents with very limited resources.

Along with a financial contribution, SMEC’s support for the development includes renovating and designing the interior of the classroom that will host the learning centre and equipping it with modern learning tools such as smart televisions, video conferencing, and internet access. The centre will also house an upgraded library and an arts and crafts area.

SMEC has been operating in Fiji since 1977, beginning with the Yalavou Rural Development Project. Since then, we have expanded our operations throughout Fiji and the Pacific, extending our project experience to cyclone assessment, electrification projects, tourism planning, maintenance management training and technical audit for significant road projects. Most recently, SMEC has been involved in Fiji’s National Energy Security Situation Project.


Wim Frencken, SMEC Country Manager Fiji, hands over the SMEC donation to Karishma Kaajal Kumar, Aspire Network Fiji Founder and Chairperson


Cyclone Yasa’s damage to a Vunimanuca Primary School in Fiji


Classrooms and learning materials were destroyed by the cyclone