Another month on the ground in Fiji has once again pas in a blur of boluses, farm beds, chicken express ice cream and friendly faces. It was my fourth month working in country with Project Everest and although I probably lost my sanity under an obscenely large pile of receipts, I’m calling it our most successful and rewarding to date.

Ultimately the success of the projects during the past month is attributed to the passion of the people working on the ground. Trekkers, team leaders, senior leaders, consultants, staff support and business partners coalesced to form an incredible powerhouse that built on the foundations laid by previous cohorts, making tangible the beginnings of sustainable and scalable social benefit.

The most accurate description for the entirety of July is the Project Everest value of ‘work hard’. FarmEd in Fiji had three teams working on different aspects of the project: Proof of Concept (POC), Drone Investigation and Field Development. Drones hit their monthly goal of gathering data on 60 farms by the middle of week 3, POC discovered that the prototype report had some major flaws and pivoted to trial a new product, and Field Development turned a piece of land into a demonstration farm ready to be utilised for the summer teams. The hard work, sweat and tears of the FarmEd trekkers culminated in the registration of FarmEd as a separate business entity. Social Consulting began the month with a relatively abstract brief and ended it with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with the South Pacific Development Bank (SPBD) to deliver training modules to their clients on the ins and outs of running a business. The Fuel team’s remarkable achievements can be summarised by the design and construction of a prototype rocket stove that they tested in the villages of inland Fiji.

All of this was accomplished in the space of only 19 working days.July can be succinctly summarised by Winston Churchill when he said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” This reality has never been more apparent to me

July can be succinctly summarised by Winston Churchill when he said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” This reality has never been more apparent to me than after watching the way in which each person on the ground fought with tenacity and passion to build from failures and to make tangible the social impact we are all striving for.

Maddison Steele
Second-In-Charge – Fiji – July 2017 
Bachelor of Medical Biotechnology – University Of Wollongong

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