Jazmin Grace Grimaldi created The Jazmin Fund in November of 2006, following a humanitarian trip to Fiji during her Thanksgiving school break. During her 2006 Thanksgiving school break, Jazmin embarked on a tour of the Fiji islands. The small South Pacific nation comprises 300 islands, many remote and very poor. Jazmin established her own charitable fund to help Fijians — particularly children — achieve a healthier quality of life.
In 2006, the foundation began providing the following:
A rain gutter water system for the Yanuca Village, which had no water
Classroom chairs for a school on Rabi Island
Medical treatment and medical supplies for Togo Village
In 2016, the most powerful storm ever to strike land in the Southern Hemisphere hit Fiji. This storm caused deaths and destroyed countless buildings and farms. The Jazmin Fund wanted to rebuild a wonderful and beautiful community hall for a village that lost so much in that devastating storm. Jazmin worked with Naidi to make the hall art focused, in hopes of marrying her love for humanitarianism with the arts. Fijian culture is infused with a love of the arts already, especially music. Naidi village was devastated by the Cyclone in 2016 and prior to that had been waiting for a new community hall for 7 years.
"Music is a universal language that truly brings us all together, I believe the power of music can change the world. Music and forms of expression can help make the world a better place." Jazmin stated.
Naidi was already an art driven community which was a perfect fit for The Jazmin Fund's first initiative.The Jazmin Fund, under the guidance of Naqaqa Giving Foundation, worked with CAUKIN Studio to design and build a community hall in Naidi Village (Vanua Levu, Fiji) which broke ground on July 29,2018 and officially opened the doors on September 19, 2018.
The Jazmin Fund focused on raising funds in order to build the Naidi Community Hall which includes a special designated art center. The art center provides a space for children and the community to artistically express themselves through the use of musical instruments, performance and art therapy.
The Jazmin Fund and CAUKIN'S team of international volunteers worked side-by-side with the local Fijians to construct the Naidi Community Hall. The collaborative process is beneficial for everyone involved and allows for valuable knowledge and skills to be exchanged between local residents and international volunteers. This partnership resulted in unique design solutions which will ensure its protection from future cyclones and an exchange of humanity.
Our projected goal was to raise $50,000 for the Naidi Community Hall by Summer 2018. With your help we exceeded that goal and made it a reality! Please read about the 8 week journey below.
The Naidi Village 'art focused' Community Hall.
Week 1 and 2
In our first week we introduced our team of volunteers to the village by holding a traditional "sevusevu" ceremony, offering kava root to a village elder. Volunteers learned safety requirements and practiced with the tools. We broke a lot of ground, digging all the foundations by hand in only a few days. Our team of strong village men unloaded a whole truckload of long pine poles. We cut the pine poles to size and secured the first one in concrete. This brought on another ceremonial blessing to begin the next level of construction. Many people cried with joy. The village has been struggling for a communal space for the last seven years. The previous, already dilapidated structure, was destroyed by the vicious tropical Cyclone Winston in February of 2016. Now that the first posts are in the ground, we have officially started building. We have also assembled most of the trusses. It's amazing what we can do together!
The pine poles were placed into their holes and braced to keep them straight and square. Then the trusses were made. The floor beams were bolted in place. The tops of the pine poles were cut into to receive the trusses. We had to have all that done before we could use the crane on week 4 in order to install the trusses. We had to build a scaffolding for safety and convenience reasons. The concrete was mixed and poured for all the foundation holes. A huge thank you to Fulton Hogan Hiways for providing the concrete. The building framework is looking very strong! The videos below allow you to see all the pine poles in place, giving you a sense of the size of the building. This took place mid-week, so we've now progressed from what you see in this video, but it's starting to take shape.
The concrete dried over the weekend and we put in the floor beams running the width of the building in each row from front to back. The weather permitted, therefore, all the posts went up and we started building the stud walls. We completed getting all the trusses (the cross pieces that connect the tall pine poles) up on August 20th. We hired a crane for three hours on August 21st. With the trusses officially up, Naidi Hall is starting to look like an actual structure. On the night of the 21st there was an evening of kava in the village to celebrate the Naidi structure starting to look like a real building. The video below give an insight into progress made throughout week 4, we are now getting into the details of the windows, frames and doors.We are at the half way point!
On September 19th the first ‘art focused’ Community Hall in Naidi Village (Vanua Levu, Fiji) opened its doors and we held the opening ceremony. The founder, Jazmin Grimaldi was the guest of honor, gave a speech and cut the ribbon on the new hall. The new hall symbolizes a new space for new beginnings, where villagers can come together, to make beautiful memories and build community.
"I want this structure to be a second home for Naidi, a space to host love and creativity. A place where they can dance, sing, drink Kava, learn, teach, host meetings and workshops, make handicrafts and sell to earn income and sustainability. Its amazing what can be achieved when everyone can put away their differences and come together to achieve a common goal. Producing this new community hall was a pure example of team work. This new project was so rewarding and something I hope The Jazmin Fund can continue to achieve along side Caukin and NGF." -Jazmin
The Jazmin Fund donated two new cupboards for the hall filled with new instruments (2 guitars, 2 ukuleles, 2 tambourines, 1 keyboard, microphone, amp, and music books) as well as school reading books for the adults and children. The Jazmin Fund also helped donate some wood and tools to the Savudrodro Community Hall that opened on September 18th. The halls were built by Caukin Studio, by their architectural leaders, student and local Fijian volunteers alongside The Jazmin fund and NGF in an 8 week period.
The Jazmin Fund donors fully funded the $50,000 building as well as donated instruments and books. A special thank you to all our generous donors especially the The John Gore Organization, The Pratt foundation and Fulton Hogan Hiways.
Jazmin's Reunion humanitarian trip to Fiji with The Jazmin Fund
While on her humanitarian visit to open the hall in September 2018, Jazmin hosted and performed at the first Naidi Village concert in the new community hall alongside boyfriend and fellow musician Ian Mellencamp. She sang her new original songs and taught the village children her upcoming single Fearless and surprised the village by singing a traditional Fijian song, Sia lei. They all sang together and then opened the stage to the villagers to perform songs of their choice with the new instruments in an open mic style concert.
Jazmin was fully focused on the Hall and immersed in village activities where she went net fishing and cooked with the women of Naidi, learned how to make handicrafts at the women's weekly wednesday meeting in the hall, attended a wedding and a funeral that took place in the hall, embarked on visits to local resorts with Naidi Village where they perform the Meke twice a week for income, visited local artists to team up and start on an art program for the children and a weekly music lesson, and Jazmin reunited and sang with friends at the Savu Savu special needs school in which she visited 12 years ago, that was a very emotional and heart filled day for her especially to be reunited with children she met when she was 14 years old. She visited many neighboring villages, schools, and churches for potential future aid possibilities for The Jazmin Fund.
"I have created a special bond with the beautiful people of Naidi Village, I consider them family. I have learned so many new skills from them. There spirit is so rich and genuine. I love Fiji and would love to continue building community halls in Fiji, my hope is that I can have thriving projects in Fiji and then extend projects like these to other parts of the world and continue to spread the love, relief and sustainability."
-Jazmin Grimaldi, Founder of The Jazmin Fund
Proceeds for FEARLESS go towards The Jazmin Fund's next project.
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Jazmin Grace Grimaldi
Proceeds for The Jazmin Fund tote go towards The Jazmin Funds next project, A Female focused Community Hall in Fiji set to be built in Summer 2020.
To donate by check, please mail your donation to the following address:
The Naqaqa Giving Foundation
11684 Ventura Blvd #440
Studio City, CA
Please make checks payable to The Naqaqa Giving Foundation (NGF), for The Jazmin Fund.
While The Jazmin Fund is its own program, it is managed by The Naqaqa Giving Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Studio City whose mission is to fulfill educational, health, and emergency needs for Fijians living in remote villages.
Contributions are tax deductible. 100 percent of contributions go to beneficiaries with overhead being paid entirely by the founder.
Jazmin Grace Grimaldi directs how donations to The Jazmin Fund are distributed. Donations made today will go towards the Naidi 'art focused' Community Hall Project.
Thank you very much for your time and donations. Vinaka vaka Levu!
Bula and Blessings,
Jazmin Grace Grimaldi - The Jazmin Fund
For further information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org