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Blenheim, New Zealand

Hello,

my name is Kevin Milstein and I run a football (soccer) foundation named after my late son Reagan Milstein.

 

How does a foundation involved with football go into a project that involves growing in the South Pacific? Quite simply, the two are inexorably linked.

 

When the Reagan Milstein Foundation (RMF) started up, the first nation that we went to in order to deliver football gear to was the Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific. The Pacific island nations all seem very pristine and idyllic but they hide an unknown fact and that is a poverty of resources. What they all desperately lack are the general resources that we in the West take for granted.

 

Since 2011 we have dispatched a number of donations of football gear to over 20 countries all over the world but mostly to the delightful Kingdom of Tonga.  Having donated so much to Tonga it was about time that I paid them a visit to see what impact RMF is making and also to talk to our RMF ambassador for the South Pacific based in Tonga, Mr Lui Muavesi.

 

It was in March 2015 when I visited Tonga that I was delighted to see what a difference RMF had made to the people of Tonga. Lui invited me for a Sunday umu or hangi or luau and as we sat there munching away on our delicious meal Lui proceeded to tell me of the issue of obesity in Tonga.

The Wellness Pacific Project -The Story

Lui Muavesi

Lui is one of a number of valuable RMF ambassadors around the world.

Lui is very committed to his community in Tonga and spends his days helping youth, the special needs community and even working in correctional facilities in Tonga.

Lui plays a pivotal role in implementing the Wellness Pacific Project in Tonga and eagerly awaits positive outcomes so that this can be rolled out across the Pacific.

Don Cross

I am a long term confidant of RMF founder Kevin Milstein.

With a degree in Agricultural Science from Lincoln University, over 40 years of practical horticultural skills and ten years of tutoring horticulture.  I have experience in horticulture that would be the envy of anyone and is a valuable asset when it comes to finding practical solutions to any horticultural problem.

I have a background in a variety of commercial horticulture crops. I have run pip and stone fruit orchards growing cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, apples and nashi. I also established olive groves including an organic olive grove and have become involved in viticulture training, and developed my own irrigation company. My expertise is not only in my own commercial horticulture ventures. I have been a Field Officer for the New Zealand Horticultural Industry Training  Organisation, an irrigation and olive consultant, and a specialist MAF Agricultural Engineering Farm Advisory officer.

I am retained by RMF as a consultant  for the Wellness Pacific Project and expect to be involved for many years to come.

Deedee Bancroft

I came on to this project when I  listened to Don and Kevin speak at the local Migrant Centre AGM.

I felt a connection to the guys and what they were doing to benefit the communities in the Pacific Islands, so much that I knew I had to lend a helping hand.

I have my own business Admin Help 4 U Ltd and I have a background in Administration, Event Management, Social Media, Marketing and Design, Training & Facilitation. 

A jack of all trades I am able to help get any job done. 

I look forward to being able to help people with their lives and further any dreams they have.  I most importantly can't wait to learn more about other cultures, especially learning with my family who all want to help be part of this amazing opportunity. 

Eve Johnson

Mum, Business Consultant and Activist!

Its not often you meet a great group of people whose passion mirrors yours and whats more you can add your skills to enhance theirs and together you can achieve something even better!

I totally agree that EDUCATION is the fundamental key to empowering the next generation to be sustainable and self sufficient.  Imparting years of knowledge we can help to support their environment and teach them to grow amazing produce to not only eat and become healthy,  but to sell to gain wealth to invest in wellness. 

With my background as a Business Consultant mainly in organics and food, coupled with my charity exposure I can bring governance and strategy support to the team, plus help to support applications for funding so we can make this vision a reality.

Its easy to do nothing but so much more fun to do something!

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When I asked why it was such an issue he told me that there was a distinct lack of fresh vegetables on the island, in fact everything had to be imported from outside and came in a very poor state, tasteless and unappetising.

 

I was stunned. I looked around to see an abundance of land, sunshine and water and asked why no one was growing fresh vegetables in Tonga. Lui told me that many people have lost the connection to the sustainable growing of vegetables. That’s where the Wellness Pacific Project was born, right there on a beach in Tonga.

 

I have now brought on board Lui and a good friend of mine and highly experienced horticulturalist, Don Cross from Blenheim, New Zealand, to put this project together and give it life.

At first the idea was to work directly with Tongans and then spread the word throughout the Pacific but what has evolved is also a need to work together with islander workers that come to New Zealand to supplement their income. Once those courses have been refined then we can take it back to the islands.

Don has now brought in one of his colleagues, Deedee Bancroft, and together they have identified projects that we believe will benefit communities across the South Pacific.

 

I hope that we can change lives in the South Pacific over time and that you can join us on the journey, either online or physically or even by donating to the cause.

 

Even if we change just one life it will become a ripple effect and then it would have all been worth that umu on a beach in Tonga in March 2015.

 

Malo, Kevin Milstein

CEO, Reagan Milstein Foundation

Contact Kevin

Meet The Team