Naserelagi native, Seru Sevutia was preparing himself for volunteer work with the Fiji Red Cross just days before Tropical Cyclone Winston tore through Fiji by attending a disaster preparedness and response training session.
He was thrown into the deep end as a volunteer after Winston and has not regretted his decision since.
“The training was that week. On Saturday, Winston came,” he remembers.
His village was devastated in the wake of the cyclone, where only three houses remained and Seru has been at the forefront of rebuilding efforts there and as part of the Red Cross volunteer team in Rakiraki lending a hand and a sympathetic ear to boost moral of the affected.
“It’s all about communicating, allowing people to open up about what they’ve been through. For 25 years they’ve been working to build their house and it’s just taken away in 24 hours.”
“When I got this glimpse of what Red Cross is about, I really loved it. From that time until today, I still enjoy what I’m doing. I love doing this work with the community.”
Seru Sevutia, Fiji Red Cross volunteer and now Red Cross Rakiraki branch administrator