Fiji is known as a tourist’s dream, with its pristine beaches, clear water, and friendly locals. Besides its endless coconut trees, abundance of marine wildlife, and countless natural wonders, visitors often reflect that Fiji’s people are what make the country so special.
Classified as a developing nation, it’s often a surprise for tourists to get a glimpse of the local living conditions. Poverty is a daily challenge for many throughout the country, with countless families living in poor housing, with limited access to good education and adequate healthcare. Still, Fiji’s people remain some of the most welcoming, genuine and happy people in the world.
To try and help these less fortunate people, particularly in remote villages, this community development project has been established in Sote Village, about two hours from Fiji’s capital, Suva. Volunteers are needed to help the people of the Sote Village community in a variety of ways.
If you’re a passionate, flexible and adaptable individual, who is not afraid to steer well clear of the five star hotels and really get rustic (and back to basics), this project is for you. If you are truly interested in getting to know the locals and helping them in any way you can, this project will be greatly rewarding. You may partake in a number of different activities, some of which may be:
- Helping build/renovate buildings, facilities, and fences at the local school
- Facilitating creative and educational activities with school children
- Repairing and upgrading the Community Hall
- Creating concrete footpaths within the village
- Supplying trash bins for the community and educating the people on keeping their areas clean
- Creating shelters and walk ways
- Building fences in and around the school
- Assist in building school and sports equipment
- Refurbish existing buildings i.e. community centres and kitchens
- Build children’s playgrounds
- Install water tanks
- Beautify local village buildings with school children and art projects
Note: Activities that students will undertake on any given program, will vary widely, depending on a range of local factors, including but limited to available donations / funding, time of year, weather conditions, available support staff and community leader involvement.
No matter what activities you get involved in, everything you do is to benefit the community as a whole. The great thing about this project is that all you need to participate is a positive attitude, personal drive, a commitment to culture and the local community.
Project Activities: Building and renovation projects for the Sote Village community, creative activities with children, general community outreach/education, and other activities based on needs at the time.
Working Hours: Varying depending on project focus. Approximately 7 hours a day for 5 days a week. The schedule varies – welcome to Fiji! You will need to be flexible. The program includes one or two lectures at the University of the South Pacific. Lecture topics vary each year but broad academic areas include, community health, aid, local culture, understanding Fiji – its people, history and culture. There are also a small number of local culture excursions in Suva. Daily community project work will generally run from 8:30am – 11:30am, then a break for lunch and continuing from 12:30pm – 5:00pm.
Project Availability: Fixed program dates each year. Upcoming programs:
- 25 November – 9 December 2017
Please note that this project has a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 volunteers. Places on the project are given on a first come, first served basis.
Location: Students will be primarily based in Sote Village, in the interior of Fiji – two hours’ drive from Suva. Students will also get to experience Suva, Nasori and Nadi for limited periods of time.
Project Duration: 2 weeks
Support: 24-hour support from on-site coordinator
Excursions: Lectures and excursions are included in this program. You will visit Suva, the capital of Fiji, and go to a lecture at the University of the South Pacific, or you could visit the Fiji Museum, with its comprehensive collection of Fijian artefacts or other local cultural attractions!
Minimum Age: 18+