Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Water Tank initiative
BTG is working to fundraise $1,800 USD to purchase two new 5,000 L water tanks for Vorovoro. With more water on the island, BTG and Vorovoro will be able to host more educational programs starting summer 2019. The deadline for this fundraiser is Christmas Eve 2018 so the tanks can be installed during the wet season to maximize rain catchment. Currently we have the capacity to collect 30,000 L of rainwater on the island (the average American uses 378-680 L PER DAY). With 10,000 L more of water,this essentially means Vorovoro can host an additional 15-18 member group per year for 1 month without running out of water, as well as have water for gardens and livestock. All donations are tax exempt through The Vorovoro Foundation.
Engineers Without Borders
In the summer of 2016, Bridge the Gap and an Auburn University engineering student assisted the Mali community by applying to Engineers without Borders (EWB), an organization that partners engineers with communities in need of an engineering development project. With rising sea levels, the villages on Mali island are shrinking in size, and their precious groundwater is being contaminated. Mali Island was accepted as an EWB site, and EWB plan to visit Mali in 2018 to assess the situation and begin making recommendations to address the community's concerns.
Mali village Homestay Program
In the summer of 2017, Auburn University study abroad students participated in the inaugural homestay program in Ligaulevu Village on Mali Island—Vorovoro’s neighboring island. Many reported that it was the most meaningful parts of their trip. Not only did it provide people from Mali an opportunity to earn income and see and understand what Bridge The Gap is doing on Vorovoro, it brought the students up close and personal with Fijian culture; they became part of the family. The Mali village is eager to do it again. It was a success worth repeating!
island honey project
With support from Bridge the Gap, the Mataqali, or “chiefly family,” of the Mali tribe has spearheaded an economic initiative around beekeeping. Through a partnership with Cegu Valley Farm, the chiefly family applied for government grants for beekeeping and has begun the production of honey on Vorovoro. One day, the Mali community wants Vorovoro to become a beekeeping training center to instruct local Fijians on how to apply for these government grants as well as how to actually produce honey.
Auburn Student Donations
Each year Auburn University study abroad students spend one month on Vorovoro. The semester before arriving on Vorovoro, students and faculty hold drives benefiting Vorovoro and the Mali community. Auburn gives first aid supplies, backpacks, shoes, purses, and just about anything a person might need in his or her daily life. When students head back to the States, they leave little pieces of Auburn with the community by donating many of their t-shirts. If you step foot onto Vorovoro, keep an eye open for Auburn University gear!