As we embark on Week 2 of the 40 day Positivity Challenge, we continue to be encouraged by the abundance of good that is happening across the nation of Fiji at this time and particularly how social media platforms such as Facebook have become a lifeline for many families who are able to receive help by placing requests on pages set up for these purposes.
One such page is the Families Helping Families Fiji Facebook page that was set up inApril by young mum, Lacanaivalu Balenacagi when she became aware of how much people were suffering as a result of the COVID19 pandemic.
“I wanted to put up a rant on Facebook but I knew that would not do any good, so I decided to start this group called “Families Helping Families Fiji,” Balenacagi said.
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, her intention was to also put into practice the Law of Consecration of the church where everyone brings in what they have and shares it to those in need.
In two months the page has grown from a couple of hundred members to 5000 members with requests for membership growing from 2 requests in a day to 20 requests on some days. A quick scroll through the page as this piece is being written reveals the growing numbers of needy families turning to the page to request assistance. We counted a total 11 requests on the page in 20 minutes, reflecting not only the level of need but also how quickly this site has become a trusted site for needy families.
To assist her with running the page, Balenacagi has recruited a few friends from High School who now serve as page administrators and help manage the requests that come in and the responses from those willing to help.
Since they were set up, the page has encountered some challenges with a few opportunists who seek to take advantage of the help being provided but in her words “One bad apple amongst the genuine families in need is a small price to pay,”
For Balenacagi and her young family, it has been hard to see the level of suffering families with children are going through at this time but there is a great sense of peace and fulfilment when the families receive the help that they need.
The Families Helping Families Fiji initiative is a wonderful example of how one person can channel their frustration over the current situation into action to bring about change.
Change Your World a book written by two global leaders John C Maxwell and Rob Hoskins makes this point clearly “If we want the world to be a better place and we hope for conditions of need in the world to improve, then we need to change. We need to take action.”
Young mum Balenacagi shows us how one person can start to change the world. She is proof that you don’t have to be rich, you don’t have to famous, you don’t need an organisation or someone else’s permission to transform lives and make a difference. In her words, “I was going to rant on Facebook but I knew that would not help so I decided to set up the page instead. .
Balenacagi is grateful to the friends and families who are showing up to help them do what they are doing at the moment. The future for the page, is not clear but they will continue to do the best that they can to help families in need at this time.