WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
Fiji is renowned for its spectacular beaches and coral reef: a picturesque string of islands floating peacefully in the Pacific Ocean. This is true but as a picture of Fiji it is incomplete. Fiji also has impoverished rural populations who as yet have not been able to capitalise on the booming tourist trade in the country.
As a Fiji Adventurer volunteer, you have the opportunity to take part in a variety of placements to develop a greater understanding of the issues that affect Fiji and gain greater exposure to the skills needed in a variety of fields. You will spend 2 weeks of your trip on our beach conservation project on the island of Beqa as well as 2 or more weeks on a combination of our teaching, sports coaching, animal welfare, healthcare or journalism projects based in the capital city of Suva. Volunteers are asked to spend at least two weeks at each project (four for journalism), and can combine as many projects as their time allows.
If you choose to work on the Fiji Teaching or Sports Coaching project in Suva, you'll soon see that education is a crucial part of achieving sustainable development. By teaching in these communities volunteers can make a real difference to the lives of young people growing up in Fiji, learn about life in Fiji as a teacher and contribute to establishing sustainable development programmes.
If you volunteer on the Fiji Animal Health & Welfare project you will work at a local animal shelter on a range of tasks depending on your previous experience and academic qualifications. Those with Veterinary experience may be able to involve themselves in minor procedures, whilst those with less experience will be able to take part in the general care of animals and maintenance of the shelter.
If you volunteer on the Fiji Healthcare project you will work at a local hospital comprised of a skin clinic, wards for chronic patients with spinal injuries, stroke or TB, and a prosthetics workshop or caring for children with disabilities one-on-one at a specialized development and learning center.
Our Frontier-Fiji Beach Conservation Project is designed to better understand the marine resources of the island of Beqa, and to provide teaching and training to enable local communities to make informed decisions regarding the management of their coastal ecosystems.
To achieve this mission, we conduct scientific baseline data surveys of reef areas while diving or snorkeling, map the sea grass beds and mangrove fringes of the region, identify patterns of resource use, and work with local communities to build awareness of the value and vulnerability of their marine environment.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
Your work schedule will cover a comprehensive, varied and enjoyable teaching, sports coaching, healthcare or animal welfare project and beach conservation programme split between Suva for a minimum of 7 days and the Island of Beqa for a minimum of 7 days.
Teaching in a local school in suva (fjt)
In Suva, you will be working with local schools and alongside teachers following the national curriculum. Your work will engage you fully with your pupils and will awaken your creativity and initiative. Volunteers help teach the children of all ages at primary and intermediate school level, working a full school day five days a week. The respect students will show you, the friendliness of the school staff, and the opportunity to introduce engaging new activities into the classroom is what makes teaching in Suva, Fiji's Capital City, a once in a lifetime experience.
You may be directly involved in the administration side of working in a school by helping to mark pupil's work, report writing, data entry and paperwork as well as helping to produce an inspiring teaching strategy including preparing homework and we encourage you to assemble innovative and effective lesson plans. Your classes will last just under an hour each, with school starting at 8:30am and ending at 2:30pm every day.
As well as this you will have the opportunity to help with lots of extracurricular activities which will vary extensively depending on your personal skills and interests – whether it is helping to put on a play or organising a choir. You should be prepared to take part in a range of teaching and administration activities whilst on your project. Whatever you decide, you are sure to gain huge satisfaction from interacting with and inspiring these underprivileged children, whilst enhancing your own skills and experience significantly.
Sports coaching in a local school in suva (fjs)
Fully integrated into the life of the local school, you will work with a range of ages for up to five days a week, mornings and afternoons. Many sporting activities also go on after school so be prepared to work long days! You will work with primary and secondary school age children (5-16), organising a variety of sporting activities.
During your placement, you may find yourself coaching hockey, football, rugby, netball, volleyball, swimming and a whole host of other sports. With extra curricular activities often taking the back burner to other subjects such as English and maths, you will inject much needed enthusiasm and creativity into the children's lives. You will be much more than a coach to them and will be both their mentor and friend. Whilst working on this project, you are encouraged to be creative and bring your own unique skills and personality to enliven and enrich the experience of the kids in your care.
Volunteer in a local animal shelter (fjw)
You will work closely with a local animal welfare charity and will be substantially involved in the day to day running of a large urban animal welfare centre. You may cover activities ranging from cleaning animal cages, caring for stray and abandoned cats and dogs, helping to re-home pets or educating local communities about the importance of animal welfare. Your level of involvement will of course depend on your skills, practical work experience and academic qualifications.
You will have the opportunity to work at one of two possible placements, depending on your interest and experience: a local hospital comprised of a skin clinic, wards for chronic patients with spinal injuries, stroke or TB, and a prosthetics workshop; or caring for students aged from 4 through adult with varying degrees of disability at a specialized development and learning center.
In either placement, you may have the opportunity to integrate within the wider community by providing mobile care, teaching and training at local schools and villages, however please be aware that this aspect of the project cannot be guaranteed and is dependent upon the needs of the project at the time of your visit.
Beach conservation and snorkelling (fjb)
Following this you will transfer to the Island of Beqa where you will work with our Frontier Fiji Beach Conservation Project. You will have the opportunity to snorkel or dive to locate and map the extensive coral reefs and study the various communities living on them (extra cost applies for PADI Dive Qualifications and courses are subject to availability). You will also explore and record the organisms that inhabit the luxuriant mangrove forests, dense sea grass beds and productive inter-tidal areas.
Whilst swimming and snorkelling, you'll see an extraordinary array of animals from turtles to rays, sea cucumbers to feathery starfish, spiny urchins to octopus and jellyfish – even the occasional shark! When you motor out each day on the Frontier boats to each dive site you may even encounter gigantic manta rays, sharks, humpback whales or flying fish. By the end of your project you will be expert at identifying hundreds of colourful and patterned reef fish as well as being an experienced and competent snorkeller. Although the work is intense and challenging you'll get immense satisfaction from having completed the programme and from having made a valuable contribution to the conservation of this untarnished marine wilderness. You will return home with the new friends you've made and a wealth of fascinating stories and memories.