Monday, August 20, 2007


SERVING the people of Fiji with the best of their capabilities is the aim of a Fijian social group in Australia.
The Central Coast Fijians is made up of a small charity organisation of 20 families originally from Fiji now residing on Australia's Central Coast.
Tamani Cama, who represents the group, was home lately to donate glucometers costing about $1000 to the National Diabetic Centre.
The sugar-testing machines, strips and lancets, were part of the package given to 10 patients who, with the help of the machines, can check and control their sugar levels themselves instead of going to the centre every time.
Cama said it was the least they could do to show people of Fiji that they still cared about this country and the people.
He is one of the pioneers who started the Central Coast Fijians and the idea of helping diabetes patients here.
Cama was inspired to carry out the good deed after his son, Nicholas, was born with the disease and had to have nine major operations to survive until the present day.
Nicholas is now 16 years old.
"My son was born with diabetes. After the operations, he has been relying on tablets and pumps for the past 15 years.
"He is now in Year 10 at Brisbane Watters Secondary School," said the father.
"So I wanted to do something to help diabetes patients in Fiji.
"We cannot help all the diabetes patients but we are doing our best to help a few.
"It is about getting together and holding each other's hands.
"I believe in God and everything is possible through him.
"I keep telling people that God will one day heal my son and he will be fine.
"His pancreas has been taken out but he is doing fine.
"My faith is strong and there is always hope. You can have plenty money but if you do not have hope, it is all useless."
The CCF was formed in 1993.
"We started with only five Fijian families but now we have 20 families that includes Indians, Fijians, Rotumans and even part-Chinese from Fiji.
"It's like whenever we have a new neighbour, we invite them to be a member of the club and explain the purpose of the group.
"Most of us have one or two family members in Fiji who have diabetes and we want to do something for them.
"It is our way of contributing something and at the same time maintaining close ties with the people." The group did their first major fundraising in 2005 and the donation this year is the first one.
"The Fijian community on the Central Coast has been very helpful and we have tremendous support from them.
"We organised a cultural night in 2005 and collected $2150 in one night.
"After that, we wanted to open a club in Fiji but it was unsuccessful."
Cama is originally from the island of Moce in Lau.
He left Fiji in 1989.
He resides on the Central Coast and is married with five sons.
He is confident the membership of the Central Coast Fijians will grow as the years go by.
"We will keep telling the people of Fiji who will be coming to settle on the Central Coast and perhaps, spread our wings outside our area in future.
"I am grateful to the Fiji community on the Central Coast.
"Our aim is to grow bigger, do more fundraising and continue doing something for needy people back in Fiji."
Cama is planning to make a trip back to Fiji before the end of the year.
"We would like to be kept updated on the progress of the 10 patients we helped at the National Diabetes Centre but the main thing is for them to be educated and know how to control their sugar level."
Having hope and faith in all you do is Cama's message to the people of Fiji.
"If you have hope you will go a long way and to succeed, keeping faith in God is very important."

Adapted from Fijitimes Online