Black Like Me in Fiji

Making a cultural connection across the Pacific wasn't exactly what Eugene Scott had in mind. But far away on the islands of Fiji, a mission to aid an indigenous community developed into a journey of true discovery. Black Pacific Islanders boast proudly of their African ancestry, and the kinship they offer is more than skin deep.

Image 1
  • Schoolboy


    Alpha, a toddler staying at Homes of Hope, in the schoolhouse.

    Read Eugene Scott’s letter from Fiji on how he found family in an unexpected place.

  • A Soda Break

    A Soda Break

    Alpha drinking outside of the school building.

  • Playdate


    Alpha and Salote on the volleyball court.

  • Hanging Tight

    Hanging Tight

    Joseph and Elijah at Homes of Hope.

  • Safe and Sound

    Safe and Sound

    Bree resting in Eugene’s arms.

  • Bridge to Suva

    Bridge to Suva

    A bridge from Homes of Hope leading to the capital city of Suva.

  • Center Stage

    Center Stage

    Eugene speaking during a Sunday church service at Homes of Hope.

  • Construction Crew

    Construction Crew

    Workers at the counseling center, which was built by the missions team in Fiji. The center will help women and their families work through their various challenges.

  • Hiding in Plain Sight

    Hiding in Plain Sight

    Salote trying to get to the camera.

  • Fun in the Fiji Sun

    Fun in the Fiji Sun

    Elijah playing outside the school.

  • Paying Respects

    Paying Respects

    Eugene and Solo heading to the funeral of a relative. That morning, Eugene showed up prepared to do maintenance work with Solo on a bures, a wood-and-straw hut. Shortly after he arrived, he went home to get dressed for the service.

  • Newfound Friends

    Newfound Friends

    Eugene and Joji posing for a picture. John and Joseph are playing in the background.

  • Candy Man

    Candy Man

    Joji trying to remove a lollipop from Eugene’s mouth.

  • A Photo Op in Between Classes

    A Photo Op in Between Classes

    Joji at school.

  • Boys Will be Boys

    Boys Will be Boys

    Some boys during a break in the school day. Homes of Hope educated the kids of the mothers, as well as many others from the community.

  • Fish Market in Suva

    Fish Market in Suva

    A fish market in downtown Suva, the capital of Fiji.

  • Pretty in Pink

    Pretty in Pink

    Mere, a girl who stays at Homes of Hope.

  • A Team at Work

    A Team at Work

    The missions teams from Praxis Church.

  • Building a Stronger Community

    Building a Stronger Community

    Eugene and other missionaries working on the counseling center.

  • A Truly Green Garden

    A Truly Green Garden

    Eugene and missionaries shoveling fertilizer to be used on the garden. Homes of Hope grows fruits and vegetables, many to be sold at the market to raise funds for the nonprofit.

  • Staying Grounded

    Staying Grounded

    A Fijian woman in her home in a squatter village.

  • Support System

    Support System

    A Fijian couple in a squatter village.

  • Weathering the Storms

    Weathering the Storms

    Eugene and his team hurry to remove tarp, which was used to protect the construction site from inclement weather. A hurricane hit Fiji while they were visiting. The expensive tarp will blow away if not properly stored

  • Two of a Kind

    Two of a Kind

    Twin sisters playing outside the school at Homes of Hope.

Chana Garcia is a journalist, blogger, and cancer survivor who lives in New York City.