Mai Hap­pen­ings

Fiji’s Big­gest Morn­ing Tea

mailife - - Contents - By AIMEE ROCKETT Pho­tos JEMMA BOW­MAN

Noth­ing like a nice, big, hot cuppa. Lots of peo­ple felt that way walk­ing into Motib­hai & Co Ltd of­fices where Bushells Fiji’s Big­gest Morn­ing Tea was be­ing held. The at­mos­phere grew more and more pur­pose­ful as more and more peo­ple ar­rived. The Motib­hai group in part­ner­ship with the Fiji Cancer So­ci­ety hosted the morn­ing tea. The first pot poured to­wards fight­ing cancer was in 2006 and the mis­sion to spread aware­ness and give sup­port has ex­panded through­out the years. At the Motib­hai‘s 2017 tea ev­ery­one was soon talk­ing about how they got in­volved in the char­ity or how their lives had been af­fected by cancer. The for­mal pro­gramme be­gan with a num­ber of peo­ple speak­ing on top­ics to help raise aware­ness about cancer and to pro­mote the work in Fiji to make sure ‘No One Fights Alone’. Abra­ham Gomes, Motib­hai mar­ket­ing and busi­ness man­ager be­gan with a minute’s si­lence to re­mem­ber those who have lost the bat­tle with the dis­ease. His mes­sage was on how im­por­tant it is to give peo­ple hope as well as sup­port through hard times. The Fiji Min­istry of Health pro­vided sta­tis­tics show­ing that cancer is more com­mon than peo­ple may think, af­fect­ing more than 1,000 peo­ple a year. In 2016, breast cancer was the most com­mon form of the dis­ease af­fect­ing 41% of fe­male cancer cases. Im­por­tant in curb­ing these in­creas­ing fig­ures is the need for early de­tec­tion – which starts with ed­u­ca­tion at home. The Min­istry ex­pressed its ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the help with pro­vid­ing pa­tients with med­i­cal and emo­tional sup­port. A mov­ing mo­ment was when Nanise and her hus­band spoke about how her cancer had af­fected their lives at home. Nanise was seven months preg­nant with the cou­ple’s fifth child when she was di­ag­nosed with cer­vi­cal cancer in May 2016. She

trav­elled to In­dia in Septem­ber when the baby was one month old to have treat­ment, leav­ing her hus­band with their chil­dren. “I’d like to thank ev­ery one of you for sup­port­ing this cause, I was so thank­ful this morn­ing when I ar­rived and saw the slo­gan ‘No one fights alone’. It re­ally spells out my ex­pe­ri­ence. I now know that I do not stand alone,” Nanise’s hus­band said. He de­scribed how he had looked af­ter their chil­dren, mak­ing sure they went to school. “It is deeply felt in a fam­ily when a mother is ab­sent be­cause the most com­mon word heard in a house­hold is ‘Mum’. I tried my best to not only be their fa­ther but also their mother.” He said some­times the chil­dren wouldn’t eat and would be won­der­ing whether their mother would come back alive and well. “But to­day we look at my wife and she is fit and healthy and in the clear.” The Fiji Cancer So­ci­ety is a non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion and re­lies on fund­ing from events such as the Big Morn­ing Teas. “Last year at the Bushells Fiji’s Big­gest Morn­ing Tea we raised over $61,000,” a so­ci­ety rep­re­sen­ta­tive said. “We also had a lot more com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions join­ing in, which is key in spread­ing the word.” While rais­ing money to aid cancer pa­tients is a big part of the Fiji Cancer So­ci­ety’s work, an im­por­tant as­pect is spread­ing the mes­sage and ed­u­cat­ing more Fi­jians about the dis­ease. Bushell’s new in­cen­tive for 2017 is to do­nate 5c to the Fiji Cancer So­ci­ety for ev­ery pur­chase of their teabags. The char­ity is en­cour­ag­ing morn­ing teas in work­place of­fices by pro­vid­ing com­pa­nies with free starter kits. If for some rea­son tea and cake is not your thing you can also show your sup­port by pur­chas­ing the char­ity’s own mer­chan­dise.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Fiji

© PressReader. All rights reserved.