On Thursday, 17th December 2020, the island nation of Fiji was battered by a category 5 Tropical Cyclone Yasa. The cyclone left a destructive path through Vanua Levu, the second largest island of Fiji where the Australian Sai Medical Unit has been visiting for several years. The cyclone left a destructive path especially in the areas of Bua, Lekutu, Dreketi, Nabouwalu, Nasarowaqa, Seaqaqa and some parts of Labasa.
On Thursday 24th December 2020, devotees across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, gathered online to celebrate Christmas. The event was hosted by Victoria Regions East & West and South Australia, in collaboration with the National Devotional Wing of Australia. It included presentations from the Young Adults and the SSE students.
SSSIO ACT Region marked the occassion of Christmas by undertaking the service activity of donating gift items to children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The gift items were donated to the Barnardos Australia organisation on 22nd December 2020, who subsequently delivered the items to the disadvantaged children. The children to whom these gifts were sent came from a background where they were either homeless, affected by poverty or affected by violence.
This year’s Liquid Love project, SSSIO Australia’s annual blood, plasma and platelet donation drive, has had to overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in order to ensure that the initiative continues to build on a strong track record of success over the past few years. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that people have not being able to go to donation centres in groups, and so individuals have had to go on their own to the donation centres and maintain social distancing to take part in this valuable service activity. Although the the pandemic created a number of hurdles, the need for blood, plasma and platelet donation is as strong as ever making the Liquid Love project all the more important.