In the mid-1980s, Ken and Donna Barasch visited Fiji for the first time. They fell in love with this country of over 300 islands in the South Pacific, is one of the most unspoiled places on earth. It has an abundance of pristine reefs, white sand beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters, magnificent rain forests and over 800,000 incredibly friendly, giving, and fun loving Fijians.
But they soon learned that everything is not perfect in this paradise.
Modern world medical, dental care and education are virtually non-existent, and where they are available, they are prohibitively expensive. Cyclones, which batter the country for several months each year, cause millions of dollars in damage. Fijian people, historically have no outside support beyond their subsistence standard of living. And with hundreds of thousands of tourists visiting, it’s imperative that programs be implemented to preserve the environment and culture.
From the early 1990s through early 2000s, Ken and Donna, and a few other dedicated individuals tried to remedy these problems in various areas of Fiji, and in early 2003, they formed Savusavu Community Foundation to provide healthcare, education, community, environmental, disaster relief and cultural preservation support to the people around Savusavu, the main town on Fiji’s second largest island of Vanua Levu, as well as throughout the entire country of Fiji.
The Foundation is very pleased to have as its partner Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort. JMC staff provides “boots on the ground” for most of SCF’s projects in the Savusavu area. They provide the project analysis, meetings with village elders and government officials, purchasing of supplies, construction staffing and overall project supervision. We have borrowed the Resort’s stated ethic: “to take as little from the environment as possible, to give back as much as we can, and to respect others with whom we share this place”.
We are also grateful to partners around the world who contribute to our programs, especially Direct Relief, which is instrumental in providing meds and hospital equipment on a regular basis.
Board of Directors
The Savusavu Community Foundation Board of Directors consists of Ken Barasch, Donna Barasch, and Greg Taylor.
Adjunct To Board:
Special thanks go out to Bart and Lyndy Simpson, Helen Regan, Paul Atalifo and the staff of Jean Michel Cousteau Resort for their hands on management of the Foundation’s projects in Savusavu.
Order of Fiji
Ken received the order of Fiji in October 2015 from His Excellency Sir Ratu Epeli Nailatijau, the President of Fiji for his 25 years of meritorious charitable work on behalf of the country of Fiji.
Ken established Savusavu Community Foundation, one of Fiji’s largest non-profit organizations to provide healthcare, education, environmnetal, cultural preservation and community support for thousands of people in Savusavu and hundreds of thousands throughout Fiji. He also assisted in the establishment and operation of Yasawa Community Foundation, and various other healthcare foundations helping Fiji.
How Can You Help?
If you are a doctor, dentist, educator or in construction and traveling to Fiji and would like to assist on a project, please contact us. For more information about SCF or to make a donation or grant, please contact us.Contact Us