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Aussie family and war veteran join Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort to help special needs children


FORCORAL COAST, FIJI – More than 150 guests, staff and management from Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort raised over FJD$9000 in the walkathon which was donated to the special needs school in nearby Sigatoka.

Derek Derenalagi, a decorated Fijian double amputee and Paralympics athlete who lost his legs while serving with the British army in Afghanistan in 2007, was one of those who took part.

“I would like to say thank you to the Outrigger staff and management for coming up with such an amazing initiative,” he said.

“To support the children with special needs and for me to be part of this is so humbling.”

“People with disabilities, what they have gone through in their lives, it’s a life changing experience. For them to go through that is quite hard, not only physically but mentally as well.

“I believe the whole of Fiji should come together and support a lot of initiatives like this as Outrigger has done,” Mr. Derenalagi said.

Australian Michael Holland and his family raised $2500 for the school.

“We contributed because it caters for children with disabilities who are in need of assistance,” he said.

Mr. Holland’s 9-year-old son Ben attends a special school in Australia.

“We heard about the walkathon through social media and decided that we were going to be a part of it, not only because of Ben but also because Fiji has literally become our home away from home.

“We also participated because we know about the Outrigger’s philanthropic programs and we know that the local community has benefited immensely from the resort and guests’ generosity,” he said.

Business houses including Tappoo, the Land Transport Authority, Bank South Pacific, Sigatoka River Safari, Pacific Destinations, Rosie Holidays, Ministry of Health and Higgins also rallied behind the fundraising effort as well as members of the Nadroga rugby team.

Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort General Manager Peter Hopgood said the resort is committed to its local community and that Outrigger properties the world over have similar commitments.

“The management and staff at the resort are determined to make the province of Nadroga a better place for all Fijians to live,” he said.