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Volunteer with Children in Fiji

Volunteer with and teach children in communities around the Pacific island nation of Fiji

Program Details

Program Type

Volunteering

2 weeks from

£1,145.00

Code: FJMO0404P
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Program Information

Travel to the exotic islands of Fiji and volunteer to support under-resourced local schools and teachers. Assist with teaching and extra-curricular games and activities, supporting local children's educational and personal development. Enjoy island hopping, hiking, scuba diving, dolphin watching and exploring the local waterfalls and beaches in your free time.
Overview
Project Life
Project Details
Free Time
The Team
Dates & Costs

Overview

The beaches and coral reefs, luscious forests, intimate traditional villages and mountainous backdrop of the Dawasamu District makes volunteering in Fiji a truly stunning and unique experience.

At each of our community project sites this program aims to support under-resourced local schools and teachers through the provision of volunteer assistance with teaching, games and activities both inside the class and out.

Working with indigenous Fijian communities, we provide the opportunity to become fully immersed in local Fijian culture whilst supporting local children through their education and improving their future prospects.

Highlights include…

Teaching children and seeing them progress, exploring Fiji to see beautiful sights, island hopping, hiking to waterfalls, dolphin watching, scuba diving, snorkeling, traditional ceremonies, beautiful  beaches, climbing volcanoes, enjoying breathtaking scenery, meeting inspirational people, making lifelong friends, loving Fiji!

Testimonials

"After my first visit to Fiji, I had to return, the country, culture and people have found their way into my heart."

- Steve Catewell, (United Kingdom)

GVI Live

These updates cover all programs in this location

GVI FIJI

Nudibranchs, jungle walks and being a school 'master' a day in the life of a #Caqalai volunteer, http://t.co/akDvnpJgN7
July 4, 2015

GVI FIJI

July 3, 2015

GVI Blogs

4 DAYS AGO
Volunteer with Children
Fiji Islands  By tovuto

Students

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Parents

Why Study Abroad

GVI Difference

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Course Life

Morning assembly usually marks the beginning of the day followed by a teachers’ meeting to discuss the plan for the day. The rest of the school day will be spent focusing on teaching, organising and running activities and providing assistance to other teachers.

You will stay in basic dormitory accommodation with a communal kitchen and work area and living space to relax with fellow volunteers. In the evenings the team will gather to eat and share stories, meals are cooked by teams on a rotational basis.

For weekends you will be spoilt for choice in this beautiful exotic location. Snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking and island hopping are just some of your options to explore.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Course Details

Our local partners, the community and local council have specifically requested our assistance with English language teaching, mathematics, sports education and arts.

As local teachers are under-resourced there is an immediate need to provide them with assistance and additional English language resources.

In assisting teachers with lessons, you will help improve the education of disadvantaged Fijian children.

How this project makes a difference:

Locally trained teachers are in need of assistance to provide the necessary levels of education to enable local children to have access to greater future opportunities. English language skills help provide a link between different ethnic communities, as well as increasing employment. Our teaching and childcare projects provide additional resources to teachers in need.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Life on the Internship

Morning assembly usually marks the beginning of the day followed by a teachers’ meeting to discuss the plan for the day. The rest of the school day will be spent focusing on teaching, organising and running activities and providing assistance to other teachers.

You will stay in basic dormitory accommodation with a communal kitchen and work area and living space to relax with fellow volunteers. In the evenings the team will gather to eat and share stories, meals are cooked by teams on a rotational basis.

For weekends you will be spoilt for choice in this beautiful exotic location. Snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking and island hopping are just some of your options to explore.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Program Details

Our local partners, the community and local council have specifically requested our assistance with English language teaching, mathematics, sports education and arts.

As local teachers are under-resourced there is an immediate need to provide them with assistance and additional English language resources.

In assisting teachers with lessons, you will help improve the education of disadvantaged Fijian children.

How this project makes a difference:

Locally trained teachers are in need of assistance to provide the necessary levels of education to enable local children to have access to greater future opportunities. English language skills help provide a link between different ethnic communities, as well as increasing employment. Our teaching and childcare projects provide additional resources to teachers in need.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Project Life

Morning assembly usually marks the beginning of the day followed by a teachers’ meeting to discuss the plan for the day. The rest of the school day will be spent focusing on teaching, organising and running activities and providing assistance to other teachers.

You will stay in basic dormitory accommodation with a communal kitchen and work area and living space to relax with fellow volunteers. In the evenings the team will gather to eat and share stories, meals are cooked by teams on a rotational basis.

For weekends you will be spoilt for choice in this beautiful exotic location. Snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking and island hopping are just some of your options to explore.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Project Details

Our local partners, the community and local council have specifically requested our assistance with English language teaching, mathematics, sports education and arts.

As local teachers are under-resourced there is an immediate need to provide them with assistance and additional English language resources.

In assisting teachers with lessons, you will help improve the education of disadvantaged Fijian children.

How this project makes a difference:

Locally trained teachers are in need of assistance to provide the necessary levels of education to enable local children to have access to greater future opportunities. English language skills help provide a link between different ethnic communities, as well as increasing employment. Our teaching and childcare projects provide additional resources to teachers in need.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Free Time

Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems, but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your program. Many decide to travel after volunteering, solidifying the lifetime friendships established on the programme.

Our long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with GVI. Our field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in Fiji!

Optional Side Trips

Fiji is a beautiful and exotic destination where you will find picturesque white sand beaches, world class dive sites, and Fiji’s famous culture of hospitality and warmth. As an island nation, many of your potential activities are water based! Starting locally, just a short boat ride away you can visit the famous pod of dolphins that reside all year round on Moon Reef or hike into forests and swim in hidden waterfalls or visit one of Fiji’s famous island resorts.

In the water, for those that are not dive qualified you could enrol in a scuba diving course and dive the various dive sites in the region, home to abundant marine life, colourful corals and steep drop-offs. Get lucky with your dive, and visibility can exceed a massive 40m.

Fiji’s capital city, Suva, is only a few hours from all our project sites, known for its relaxed atmosphere, energetic nightlife, large farmers market and atmospheric port. Here you can visit the Fiji Museum, where you can find ancient tribal artefacts, one of the best exhibitions on tribal art in the Pacific, or read up on Fiji’s cannibal past. The old historical capital of Fiji, Levuka, which makes for an interesting day trip, is accessible by ferry and small boat and located on the nearby Ovalau Island.

 

Further Travelling Opportunities

A little further afield, the possibilities just keep on coming. Explore the town of Nadi with its bustling market, nearby hot springs at Sabeto or get a feel for the local atmosphere at a rugby match. From Pacific Harbour, join a river safari into the heart of Fiji or dive with bull sharks in Bega Lagoon, one of the world’s most famous shark dives.

Either before or after your program you could try island hopping around the 20 volcanic islands of the Yasawa group. These remote islands are characterised by white beaches, crystal blue lagoon and dramatic rugged hills, some with summits 600 metres above sea level.

Staying on dry land, you might consider a trip to the Sigatoka National Park, where you’ll find a miniature desert of rolling sand dunes or a more relaxing option would be the Coral Coast and the Kula Eco Park, Fiji’s only wildlife park.

The Team

Daniel Ponce-Taylor
Director of Programs

Meet Danny, our Director of Programs. Although he’s based in Playa del Carmen, Danny oversees the development and running of all of our field operations. He started out with GVI as our Country Director in Mexico and quickly became an invaluable part of the team.

Although being Director of Programs is a pretty demanding job, Danny manages to find time to do the other things he loves in-between. He’s an avid photographer and is always training for a triathlon or ironman.

What’s Danny’s favourite aspect of his job? “Starting new projects – we get lots of request for assistance and it’s difficult to decide when funds are limited. The evaluation process and those initial talks with local partners are very interesting. Seeing projects grow from an idea to full programs is very exciting. I also love the relationships you create with local organisations, they become friends and we jointly work to achieve the project aims.”

Clare Brown
Dive Officer

Meet Clare, our Fiji Dive Officer guru. Clare seems to spend more time in the water than out most days as she works with volunteers in her underwater classroom to hone and develop their diving skills. Prior to working with GVI, Clare worked for another volunteering organisation in Fiji as a Dive instructor and jumped at the opportunity to return to the islands with GVI.

Clare loves living in the paradise that is Fiji and teaching enthusiastic volunteers from all over the world to safely enjoy the magic of diving. Clare’s favourite travel location is New Zealand due to the true diversity of activities on offer there from caving to diving, hiking and sightseeing.

What’s her most memorable travel experience? “I would have to say my most memorable travel experience to date was when I was travelling through the Phillippines in a ‘jeepney’ (bus) designed for 20 people, but which had goats, chickens and what seemed like a hundred other people!’

 

Fiona Childs
Environmental Education Officer

Meet Fiona, our Environmental Education Officer at Caqalai Base, Fiji Islands.  Fiona will be setting up and managing our new outreach programme in Fiji to develop environmental sustainability with local communities from the youngest kindergarten children to the village elders.

Fiona’s first experience of volunteering was training teachers in the Maldives in 2004 where she fell in love with the tropics and decided she needed to live close to the Equator ever since! Fiona taught at international schools in Cambodia, Bali and Singapore, spending her school holidays diving in the coral triangle and developing a passion for marine conservation. Volunteering with Shark Savers inspired her to make a career change and she began working on environmental education programs with conservation and volunteer organisations in Belize, the Philippines and Indonesia.

What’s her favourite experience at GVI so far? “My most rewarding experience so far has been learning about the fascinating traditions and culture of Fiji. I have been overwhelmed by the warm welcome from local communities.”

Tom Hollingsworth
Education Project Leader

Meet, Tom our Secondary School Project leader based in Dawasamu. Tom volunteered with GVI in Fiji during the early days of the program in 2011. Armed with a degree in Anthropology, he returned to the UK after his experience with GVI Fiji to complete his Masters in Community and Youth Work. It wasn’t long after graduation before he was back in Fiji as a member of staff at the Babale base.

Tom is an avid traveller, music lover, an experienced international volunteer and is very driven to head up the new and exciting initiatives in the secondary school environment.

So what does Tom love most about his role? “Living in the Silana Village is such a unique experience. I love the fact that the Base is a part of the village and that we have the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the local culture. I really enjoy spending time with my host family within the village, they have taught me so much about the importance of strong family and community values.”

Joseph Sharpe
Fiji Program Manager

Meet Joe – a keen cyclist, Divemaster and one of our busy program managers. Joe studied social anthropology and development studies at Sussex University focusing on the dynamic relationship that humans have with their environment at local and global levels.

Joe has been travelling independently and/or working abroad for years. For Joe, his love of travel  all started with inter-railing round Europe in 1998 followed by, extensive exploring of South East Asia, Australia, India and various cycling trips around Europe. Joe volunteered in Tanzania for 3 months in 2000, which he describes as: “A great experience that without a shadow of a doubt shaped my future degree and career choices.”

Joe worked for the Department for National Parks Thailand as a ‘foreign liaison officer’ where he set up a visitor center and translated botanical signage in Thailand’s smallest national park for the benefit of foreign tourists.

Joe is particularly excited to  continue developing the Caqalai Island marine research base in order to create best practice examples of environmental management and help build capacity within local communities  to manage and protect their amazing and fragile environmental assets for future generations.

Lauren Bird
Country Director

Meet Lauren, Our Operations Manager in Fiji. ‘Laurence’ as she’s known in Fiji was amongst our first ever group of volunteers on our Fiji project when it started.

What does she enjoy doing when she’s not working? ”I like to relax and go swimming, or spend time in Silana village, drinking tea with the local families that we’ve come to know, spending time playing with the kids or just sitting round the kava bowl listening to Fijian music.”

What does Lauren think volunteers bring to the project? “The volunteers are the eyes and ears in the classroom every day, enabling us to gather a wealth of information on every single pupil. Some of the best ideas for improving our program have come from volunteers too.

Katie Drakeford
Program Manager

Meet Katie, our Base Manager in Yasawa. She worked for British Colombia’s Ministry of Forestry before volunteering with us in Fiji, her favourite place in the world, and staying on as a staff member.

Katie’s highlights since working for GVI? “Having a chance to learn and experience so many new things and find what I’m passionate about. Also seeing the way volunteers are so positively affected and changed by their experience here – it’s amazing. I also love the opportunities I get to contribute to research projects and to work with the communities.”

What does Katie have to say about volunteers in Yasawa? “The majority of volunteers come with skills and knowledge that greatly contribute to the success and maintenance of the projects. We continuously get new perspectives on our work, which is crucial to our development.”

James McKie
Country Expert

Meet James, HQ’s social officer. He’s often likened to a minion from ‘Despicable Me’ “It must be because I’m sweet and work so hard…” He decided to join GVI because of our dedication to sustainability, numerous achievements and fantastic reviews. “It was a no-brainer!”

One of James’ claims to fame is that he played golf with Henry Cooper – the only person to ever knock out Mohamed Ali. “I obviously had to let him win”. He also knows everything there is to know about Fiji, eev.ra.thang.

A great story about James is the one about the Man Overboard alarm… Everyone in his group came rushing over, super relieved to find that it wasn’t him, it had just been a practise alarm. “I’m still confused about why, out of an entyre boat load of people, they assumed it was me who had gone overboard…”

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What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Our Impact

Location

Fiji Islands

Our programs here are based in two stunning locations. One is based on the idyllic Caqalai Island pronounced ‘than-ga-laiin the Lomaiviti Island group. Caqalai is a tiny island (you can walk around it in 15 minutes) defined by white sand beaches and a lush interior. The island is on the edge of an expansive reef system and nearby to 10 small villages located on the neighbouring Moturiki Island. The second is in the Dawasamu District on Viti Levu, remote and known for its proximity to Moon Reef and its resident pod of Spinner Dolphins. Based in the villages of Silana and Natalei, this is a perfect location to experience true Fijian life, in an amazing region defined by dense jungle, volcanic mountainsides and the tribal culture of Tailevu Province.

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