In August 2017, Rotary International President Ian Riseley visited Fiji and was shown a number of Rotary projects by District Governor Mailini who was also accompanied by a number of others including Rotary Public Image Cooredinatorfor Zone 7b, Liz Courtney who wrote about the following visit.
The Squatters Camp Pre school was begun by Annelise, a Montessori teacher in Suva. She saw a huge need for the young children who were living in poverty having moved to Suva with their families from outer Island communities.  These families are desperate and have come to live in the Suva in the hope of finding jobs and some education for their children.
There are 4 known squatters camps in Suva and we visited a group from Kiribati who had made their homes on the side of a hill from the branches, old pieces of tin and any packing cases they had found. The path was muddy and wet with open drains and hanging wires and pipes for water and electricity but once we reached the bottom a platform with a thatched roof area we were greeted with friendly smiles, the laughter of children and colourful cloth walls. There were 5 mothers and approximately 15 small children all engrossed in playing with games, toys, paints and books. The teacher was reading them a story and the then the singing started. Annelise explained to us that they learn in their native language to keep their cultural difference alive.
The Rotary Clubs of Suva have become involved with this project along with the Montessori school to provide 4 mobile Teaching Kits that are equipped with learning and play materials. Each day a taxi is sent to deliver the kits and the teacher to each of the squatters camps. Often it is the first time any of these children have played with real toys and their delight was obvious to our group.
Rotary in Suva continues to fund this project because it believes that all children have the right to education.  Due to cost one of the largest expenses faced in children's underwear and this may form the basis of a new support project shortly.