A 20-foot container full of donated equipment was opened yesterday at the Yazaki EDS Samoa factory in Vaitele.
Representatives from the Rotary Club of Apia and Yazaki gathered to open up the container for distribution of selected items to be delivered to the Mapuifagalele Rest Home in Vailele and also to the Samoa Cancer Society.
Items from the container include wheelchairs, walking frames, crutches, commodes and assorted seating.
Representing the Cancer Society were Faavaivaiomanu Fiu, Manoifoa Afamasaga and Doris Tulifau.
Funefeai Oliva Va’ai represented Yazaki. He has been the key coordinator for the donated equipment coming into Samoa through Yazaki.
Between himself and Fred Fawke from the Rotary Club of Belconnen in Canberra, they have managed to facilitate two container deliveries.
From Canberra, Fawke has been the driving force behind this, the second such container to be delivered to Samoa.
Fawke leads a dedicated group of Rotarians and other volunteers called Donations in Kind.
“The goods were obtained from a number of sources within the ACT community. They are often, as in the case of the tilt wheelchairs, given by the families of deceased persons who are anxious that use is made of items that would otherwise be disposed of for scrap metal or as general waste,” said Fawke.
“A wide range of community minded individuals, government employees and agencies refer donors to the Rotary Club of Belconnen and District Donations in Kind as they are aware of our operations both within the community to recycle medical aids and when excess items become available arrange for their transfer overseas.”
Yazaki EDS Samoa provided free freight, warehousing of the container and safe storage until the container could be accessed for distribution.
Yesterday, one of the recipients for equipment was the Mapuifagalele Rest Home. Rotary Club of Apia has arranged transport to have the equipment delivered to the home.
The other recipient organisation receiving some of the equipment is the Samoa Cancer Society. Talks between Cancer Society’s Executive Officer, Shelley Burich and Rotary identified a need for certain items.
The needs of some of the Cancer Society’s patients vary considerably.
“Having access to medical and mobility equipment that can be utilised for cancer patients at home, has been an ongoing priority for the Samoa Cancer Society, as it enables patients and their families the ability to live in a comfortable and qualitative environment at home during their cancer journey,” said Ms. Burich.
“Second-hand hospital beds and wheelchairs are always at the top of a family’s list of needs for their loved one. So many of our patients have nothing more than a mattress on the floor which can be a challenge not only for the patient to be more mobile and comfortable but for the family as well, when they need to move and turn them.”
“The equipment donated today by Rotary Samoa and Australia, is greatly appreciated and we are extremely grateful that it will help give comfort and mobility for our cancer patients and their families. We thank the Rotarians and their network of individuals and organisations for thinking of the Samoa Cancer Society as a recipient for these items and acknowledge their support to palliative care in Samoa.”
It is hoped that the continuation of the Donations in Kind program delivering medical equipment into Samoa will continue despite the recent closing down of the Yazaki plant.
Fawke and the team at Donations in Kind have high praise for the support and assistance that Yazaki EDS Samoa have provided over the years.
“The cooperation of Yazaki in the transfer of goods has been the essential element of the operation that facilitated Rotary in meeting its aim of, ‘Service above Self’ to the needy in the community.”
The Rotary Club of Apia expresses their deep gratitude to Yazaki EDS Samoa for their valuable assistance in helping our community, and also to the Rotary Club of Belconnen, especially Fred Fawke and his team at Donations in Kind for their continual help and support to the people of Samoa.