The YWAM KOHA is scheduled to depart for deployment in Fiji this week. The ship is abuzz with activity as medical supplies are being sorted and stored, food stocks are being loaded, divers are cleaning the underside of the ship and last minute details are being worked out. To an outsider, I’m sure it looks like chaos. But having one deployment under our belt, we realize how far we have come in our ability to plan for the multi-phase outreach.
We have been preparing for this deployment for nine months. We’ve consulted and coordinated with marine professionals, government leaders, dental professionals, crew members, donors, partners and volunteers. We’ve updated crew cabins, showers, toilets, navigation equipment, and we’re eager to sail.
Working with ships, we’ve learned that schedules and timetables can change. But, here is our plan for deployment. Our time in Fiji will be divided into seven specific outreaches across several isolated regions of the country.
- Depart – May 12 depart Tauranga for Fiji
- Outreach 1–June 3 to 17, working in Kadavu
- Outreach 2–June 24 to July 8, working in Kadavu
- Outreach 3–July 15-29, working in Rabi Island
- Outreach 4–August 5 to 19, working in Rabi Island
- Outreach 5–August 26-September 9, working in Bua
- Outreach 6–September 16 to 23, working in Bua
- Outreach 7–September 30 to October 14, TBD
- Departure–October 15-24 Clear customs and depart for New Zealand
Our main focus for these outreaches will be dental. Oral care is a major need for the isolated peoples of the Pacific. We are also carrying a large supply of donated medical supplies to distribute to local clinics and district nurses. A new area we are eager to explore is a pilot program, working with Global Vision 2020, to provide prescription glasses.
We have a long-term commitment to Fiji and the Pacific. We desire to come alongside those working toward the health of that nation to see their goals accomplished. This type of partnership will continue to undergird everything we do and moving forward together, we will empower health in the isolated communities of the Pacific.