Spinal Injuries in the Pacific
Village Sports Sponsorship
Local Primary School Education Fund
When Mother Nature was handing out her gifts, when she came to Return to Paradise, she was overly generous. We have a stunning beach, mineral springs, beautiful palms, forest, magnificent coral garden, dazzling tropical fish and amazing colourful lush tropical gardens. On top of that, we have been very blessed with a wonderful family of staff, and now we are even more blessed with so many absolutely amazing guests. Why would God give us so much? So that we can do our small part to give back to others as a way of saying “thank you”, so that we never forget that we are very blessed.
So, we support and sponsor a wide range of charitable activities by way of donating auction prizes, donated labour and money.
One night every week, we invite our guests to dine gold class in our beautiful Gary Cooper Lounge while watching the Return to Paradise movie filmed here on our beach. Watching the movie is free and we invite guests to make a donation which goes towards the medical needs we take care of in the village. So far, our wonderful guests have donated over $35,000. The Resort doubles this amount which means that over $70,000 has been used to pay for hospital bills, Doctor’s visits, medicines, dressings, and baby care for newborns.
Talalelei Scholarship Fund
Talalelei (his name means The Good News), was a much loved Activities Director at Return to Paradises. One fateful day in 2018, Tala went to the rescue of a Chinese guest who had got in difficulty in the surf. He saved the guest’s life, but hit his head on a rock which knocked him unconscious and he lost his life. Many guests who loved Tala have set up the Talalelei Memorial Scholarship fund in NZ in honour of Tala, which every year, distributes four tertiary scholarships to top graduates of the two local high schools.
LOCAL PRIMARY SCHOOL EDUCATION FUND One day each week, our guests are invited to go on a walking tour of the village where they learn how we still live in the Samoan way of life, as well as seeing all the points of interest related to the Return to Paradise movie. The tour finishes at the local village primary school where the kids sing their little hearts out to our guests as they are really excited that people from across the world come to visit them. Many guests offer support to the school which we coordinate. This support has including donated computers and laptops, reading books, paints, crayons and pencils and stationery.
Village Sport Sponsorship
If you look at the All Blacks, the Wallabies and the NRL, you will see that almost all the teams are blessed by the presence of Samoan players whose strength, skill and athleticism bring spectators all over the world to their feet. This all starts at the grass-roots level in the villages. There are seven villages in our district of Lefaga, so we support:
- RUGBY – sponsorship money, uniforms, referees, equipment, transport to games
- VOLLEYBALL – prizes, uniforms, equipment
- BOXING – transport to games, uniforms, equipment
- RUGBY LEAGUE –We have been privileged to be the preferred boot-camp location for the TOA SAMOA who have punched well above their weight in international competitions. We provide them with sponsorship, accommodation, masseurs, and meals.
Spinal Injuries in the Pacific
If you break your neck and become paralyzed in the Developed world, this can be extremely traumatizing. That trauma is multiplied many times over if you break your neck and become paralyzed in poorer countries. Over the years, Return to Paradise has assisted fund raising efforts supported by many sporting greats who have generously donated their time and their auction prizes such as Richie McCaw, Eric Rush, Kieran Read, Sir Graham Henry, Tawera Nikau, and a heart-warming array of people to raise almost two million Samoan Tala in cash and gifts which has been used for spinal research in New Zealand, and the care of spinal injuries in their homes in Samoa and Fiji.
The funds have been used primarily to support families to support paralyzed spinal injuries in their own homes, including home modifications, transport and whole container loads of wheel chairs, proper beds, dressings, and medical supplies. Spinal injuries live a very bleak life and need more courage that most of us can ever dream of just to get through the day. We will continue to pull out all the stops to make them know they are not alone and make their loads just a little lighter.
The funds are carefully handled and distributed by the Pacific Disability Support Trust, with trustees including Dr Raj Singhal, chief spinal surgeon at Burwood Hospital in Christchurch. If you would like to contribute to this very great need, please contact email@example.com, or contact the Trust directly through Trustee Andrew Hall on Andrew.Hall@cdhb.health.nz
We are not always able to give cash but we will always do what we can to help where we can. So, we often donate accommodation packages to charities so that they can raffle or auction them to raise their much-needed funds. Often these prizes are paired with generous flight packages from the airlines servicing Samoa. Since opening our Resort in 2014, over $300,000 has been raised for the following charities from our auction packages as we have supported the following:
- NZ Paralympic Sailing – donated auction prizes
- Henderson Rotary Club (Auckland) - donated auction prizes
- Samoa Cancer Society - donated auction prizes
- Hospice Totara Lunches (NZ) - donated auction prizes
- Melbourne Rotary Club - donated auction prizes
- Sydney Animal Shelter - donated auction prizes
- Westpac Rescue Helicopter (Auckland) - donated auction prizes
- Multiple Sclerosis (Auckland) - donated auction prizes
- Viti Spinal Injury Association (Fiji) - donated auction prize, plus assistance in fundraising activities, computers for injured patients, internet sponsorship
- Spinal Injury Association (Fiji) - donated auction prize plus assistance in fundraising activities and medical supplies
- Gastro-Intestinal Cancer Institute (Auckland) donated auction prizes
- Lifeline Fiji - donated auction prizes and major sponsorship
- Starsearch Samoa -Prize winner packages
- Rotary Club of Samoa - donated auction prizes
- Para-sailing for South Pacific Games – donated auction prizes
- Melinda Ferszt’s Medical Treatment
We are so grateful to all our partners and our guests who support us as we seek to help others around us. Thank you coming to our Resort and we hope and pray that you will be as blessed as we are for your generosity. With your help, we can continue to reach out to the community and say “thank you” by giving.
The best way to help us support these charities is by coming to stay with us and support the Resort for your holidays, conferences, weddings, family reunions and birthdays. Or you can find out how to support any of the above individual charities by contacting them directly, or through firstname.lastname@example.org