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Fiji Healthcare

  • In Brief
  • The Project
  • What to Expect
  • Reviews
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Start your adventure now by reading our country guide for Fiji!


Frontier Group Project

Working in collaboration with institutions and NGOs with the country, projects are research-based, creating sustainable and biodiverse programmes.

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The Fijian archipelago lies scattered lazily in the achingly blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, bathed in the radiant antipodean sunlight. Its towns and villages are veritable melting pots of cultural influences – see multicoloured Hindu temples perched next to relics of the traditional indigenous spirit houses with their lingering sense of an ancient magic.

Its irresistible shores are fringed with picture-perfect palm trees, and the azure waters that surround the islands are inhabited by an astonishing array of marine creatures; over 1,200 species of fish including clownfish, triggerfish, blue tangs, 12 species of whales and dolphin, anemones, soft coral and much more.

Enjoy fragrant sun drenched days and balmy exotic nights – try a Fijian beach party for whirling fire dancers, traditional dancing and delectable food cooked in a traditional underground oven. Fiji will enchant you with its infectious, chilled out "Fiji time" lifestyle and its heavenly beaches, the perfect paradise location for your Frontier adventure!

      

  

 

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit this tropical archipelago and gain valuable work experience within the healthcare field
  • Make lifelong friends with your new healthcare colleagues
  • Make a difference to the health and welfare of the Fijian communities

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

  • Intermediate level of English
  • Up to date CV 
  • DBS check (criminal background check)
  • Medical form
Airport Pickup Community Emergency Hotel Homestay Meals Medical Terrestrial CV Free Time
FAST FACTS
Location Suva, Viti Levu, Fiji
Activities

Shadow healthcare professionals working at local organisations
Improve the lives of children and adults with disabilities and their families
Assist students with disabilities through their varied and exciting vocational studies

Help raise awareness of challenges faced by people with disabilities in a developing country

Provide assistance with the health education and training of people with disabilities

Assist with daily physical therapies for disabled children

Transport Airport pickup (subject to arrival date)
Accommodation  Homestay (upgrade to hostel available at extra cost)

WHAT'S INCLUDED
Before you go Pre-departure support 
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Equipment advice
Discounted medical kit (you can purchase this from Frontier directly)
Free Frontier t-shirt
In-country

Airport pickup & transfer to Suva (subject to arrival date)
Two meals per day 
Accommodation in a homestay (upgrade to hostel available at extra cost)
Local orientation and training 
In-country emergency support 
24-hour international HQ back-up
In-country transfers (subject to start date)

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 benefit from the booming tourist trade in the country.

Fiji’s socio-economic demographic is changing fast.  It is clear that the healthcare & medical industry needs to change with it, and have a clear plan to address the negative effects of urbanisation and modernisation.  At the same time the cost of healthcare and medical treatment is becoming increasingly expensive and is often unaffordable by the wider community where dietary problems are widespread and the most vulnerable suffer as a consequence.

Frontier Healthcare volunteers have a fantastic opportunity to contribute to those in need while gaining valuable hands-on experience in their field. This is an ideal project for those interested in the healthcare fields.

You will have the opportunity to work at one of two possible placements, depending on your interest and experience: 

1. caring for students aged from 6 years old with varying degrees of disability at a specialized development & learning center;

2. serving at a community & practical training centre for adults with disabilities aged 16 and older.

If arranged in advance, you may also request to spend a portion of your time each week assisting at both placements. Please contact Frontier for more information.

WHAT WILL I BE DOING?

Your placement will vary greatly depending on your skills, experience, interests and most importantly the needs of the local organizations at the time of your placement.  It is also important to be flexible and help out wherever and whenever necessary. Delays and set backs are common in Fiji, so please try to embrace these and enjoy them as part of the experience of living in a developing country.
 
If you work at the centre for children with disabilities:
 
Fiji has a growing poverty situation and the effects of population movement have led to increased demand on the health sector to cater for the disabled. The net result is that the people’s lifestyles have changed drastically over the last three decades and lack of awareness of the pressures of living in cities with widening boundaries, coupled with a lack of medi-care insurance programmes for all. The amazing work of the disability centres is incredibly inspiring, they strive for better provision for disabled adults and children often working long hours seven days a week. Working with these partners will be extremely rewarding as the work they do provides a service that otherwise would not be available.
 
You will shadow and assist the healthcare and educational professionals who run programmes for students with disabilities from the age of 6, likely being welcomed to take over the care of a designated group of students. The children and divided into six classes (with around six – seven children in each class): autistic group, pre-academic, high support needs and everything in between. The children have a variety of different disabilities for example: autism, Down syndrome, speech/communication delays, hearing and physical impairments including cerebral palsy. 
 
Your placement may coincide with other necessary procedures at the center such as specialist testing (e.g. a visiting audiologist testing pupils), important information to be analysed or a particular pupil may have a case file needs to be looked at. In such instances your assistance may be required outside the classroom. This is a great opportunity to get stuck in with other aspects of running a center such as this in a developing country!
 
You will find yourself quickly connecting with the playful, charismatic students you are working with as you assist them with rehabilitation exercises, perform cognitive tests, or guide them through educational activities. Volunteers placed here will work with the teachers to manage the daily activities, such as: gardening, sports, music and dance, skills learning i.e. communication and pre-academic activities. They also deliver physical therapies, speech pathology and occupational therapies with the children on a daily basis. The teachers here are really excited to have volunteers come in with fresh ideas and are very open to volunteer’s suggestions.
 
If you work at the community & practical training centre for adults with disabilities:
 
This a community & vocational training centre specifically for adults aged 16 and over with varying disabilities including hearing impairments, autism, physical and visual impairments. The only one of its kind in Fiji, this innovative centre offers training in 9 different vocational areas including: agriculture, carpentry, sewing, clothing and textiles, cooking/catering, basic academic skills such as numeracy and literacy and IT skills. They also have a sheltered workshop for people with a very high level of disability and dependence. The centre enables these adults to take on sub-contractor jobs in which the students help to run a number of small enterprises such as a car wash, small shop where they sell what they have made, a book binding/repair service and a small library. Students also help out in the canteen as part of their studies. Volunteers can spend the first two weeks rotating between the different areas and supporting the students in their studies and then can choose which department they would like to spend the rest of their time with.
 
Anyone with specific background or skills in speech pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapies or as an audiologist would get a lot out of this placement as they would be able to get involved with a high level of responsibility.
 
Regardless of where your placement is, you will always find that the staff members are kind and welcoming, and eager to have volunteers from around the world contribute any particular interests and ideas that they may have.
 
There is a lot of scope for variation within each organisation and as with any volunteer placement, the more effort and enthusiasm you put into this placement the greater the rewards.  It is also important to be flexible and help out wherever and whenever necessary. Delays and set backs are common in Fiji, so please try to embrace these and enjoy them as part of the experience of living in a developing country.
 
You may also find you are involved in community outreach work. Please bear in mind that without medical qualifications you won’t be able to do anything too drastic, but you will still have a fascinating experience witnessing medical practices in a developing country.  
 
If you have any specific requests on the kind of placement you would like please communicate this to LHQ as soon as possible, and we will try to accommodate these.
 
 
 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?

Free airport pickup is provided for volunteers arriving on the first Monday of the month. If you arrive before 2:30pm you will be welcomed by a Frontier representative at the airport and will be transferred by bus from the airport along the coral coats to Suva (approx. 4 hours). If you arrive after 2:30pm your transport cost will still be included but it may not be possible for a representative to meet you, however, you will be given clear and easy to follow instructions telling you how to reach Suva.

If you are arriving on any other day, no problem, we can either arrange your airport pickup for a small extra cost or we can provide easy to follow instructions for you to make these arrangements yourself.  Please inform us of your arrival details and your preferences as soon as possible (and at least 1 week before arrival) so we can make the necessary arrangements for you and help your journey to your project be as smooth as possible.

 

  

WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?

Your home in Fiji will be a comfortable and welcoming homestay with a hospitable Fijian family giving you a true sense of the Fijian culture and way of life. Your family will welcome you as one of their own, and your evenings will be filled with hide-n-go-seek or movie nights with the children, and interesting conversations over kava with your older siblings and host parents.

While most volunteers reflect on their homestay experience as one of the most meaningful aspects of their project, you can also opt to stay in a simple and comfortable lodge near the centre of Suva for an additional cost of £60 a week. Here you will be in a single sex dorm with access to a kitchen, TV, garden, sun deck, laundry service (10 FJD for 1 bag), cold showers, and linen.

 

WHAT WILL I BE EATING?

In the homestay, you'll be able to sample Fijian home-cooked meals which will be prepared for you by your host family. A common breakfast is toast with butter and tea with milk, though some volunteers will purchase eggs, rolled oats, fresh fruit, or coffee to complement their breakfast. Common dinners include vegetable curry with rice, lamb sausage with chips, fried noodles with vegetables, and stewed ro ro with tuna and cassava. A delicious Fijian speciality is a lovo feast, which is a meal cooked in a hole in the ground – unusual but very tasty.

If you are in the lodge you will prepare your own breakfast and dinner each day using supplies purchased for you by the in-country staff.

HOW WILL I GET TO WORK?

Transport from your accommodation to your place of work each day will be by local bus, taxi (cost not included) or foot. Suva is easy to navigate, and on a beautiful day you’ll find yourself purposefully taking the longer route in order to stroll along the breathtaking sea wall or catch glimpses of Suva harbor from higher points around the city.

FIJI HEALTHCARE  | 18 Sep 2015
The frontier fiji project has been an amazing experience. I have currently been here for 8 weeks ...

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I WOULD RECOMMEND THE PROJECT TO ANYBODY  | 29 May 2014
I had just recently graduated from the University and taken a year off to travel. I always wanted...

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HUMBLING HOSPITALITY IN FIJI  | 23 Aug 2012
Everything is going really well and I am loving my time here in Fiji - It is flying by. The other...

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All IN ALL, AN AMAZING TRIP!  | 21 Aug 2012
We have just come back from our amazing trip to Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Leaving on the Saturday f...

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MAKING A DIFFERENCE TO CHILDREN & THE AGED IN FIJI  | 6 Aug 2012
I arrived in Fiji at the beginning of June and started my healthcare project with Frontier. I was...

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Part of the Family  | 10 Feb 2012
Everything is going really well in Fiji!! The family i live with literallly are my family no...

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1 to 6
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ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

In your spare time you can enjoy the spectacular scenery and beautiful beaches and go snorkelling in the clear blue waters of Pacific harbour, just a bus ride away. Whatever you do you'll be amazed at the Pacific Islanders' tremendous hospitality and culture. You'll quickly make friends as you play rugby, netball, and other sports with the villagers.

You can take part in traditional ceremonies, learn Fijian cooking, and learn how to weave hats in the local style or take a scuba diving course. There is also the opportunity to trek in the nearby rainforest, and bathe in natural waterfall lagoons. Please note that these activities cost extra and we encourage you to book them direct with local providers helping to support the local economy.

Nausautoka Village Visit – Day / Weekend Trip

If you want to experience the real rural peaceful and humbling side of Fiji, outside of the City, then Frontier Fiji have a new optional once in a life time cultural excursion available for you!

Visit Nasautoka village, roughly 2 hours north of Suva, where the local community will welcome you with open arms and big smiles, including a traditional performance of a village song and dance! Be treated to the Fijian way of life; experience how they live totally self sufficiently, off the land that surrounds them.

This village trip is available as a day excursion or a weekend trip. A minumum of 4 volunteers need to book for a day trip to be scheduled. This can be booked with your Project Coordinator in country.

A day trip pragramme will include a selection of the following:

Traditional village song and dance

Bamboo Rafting across the Rewa River – don't forget to bring your swimming trunks!

A mountain hike / trek to a spectacular view– walking boots essential

Traditional prawn fishing in the Rewa River

Followed by the traditional Lovo / Bamboo cooking of the prawns – where a Fijian feast will subsequently be laid out for you to indulge!

Home-stay option (for weekend trip )

Volunteers can book this experience directly with their homestay family or enquire with Frontier's in country Project Coordinator. Volunteers should expect to pay approximately 65FJD for a 2 day experience.

Modern conveniences

Suva

  • Banks / ATMs; ANZ bank, Westpac bank
  • Bars / cafes
  • Bureau de Change
  • Cinema
  • Dentist
  • Department store
  • Hospital
  • Internet cafe
  • Mobile phone shop
  • Pay phones
  • Pharmacy
  • Post office
  • Supermarkets
  • Traditional markets and cafes
  • Western style restaurants
  • Western Union

COSTS

2 weeks £ 1,085

3 weeks £ 1,190

4 weeks £ 1,295

5 weeks £ 1,490

6 weeks £ 1,685

7 weeks £ 1,880

8 weeks £ 2,075

9 weeks £ 2,220

10 weeks £ 2,365

20 weeks £ 3,815

Extra week £ 195

$100 per week extra to upgrade to hostel accommodation

DEPARTURE DATES

First and third Monday of the month.

Alternative dates available on request.

DURATION

2 weeks and longer

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go

  • Pre-departure support
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Equipment advice
  • Discounted medical kit (you can purchase this from Frontier directly)
  • Free Frontier t-shirt

In-country

  • Airport pickup & transfer to Suva (subject to start dates)
  • Two meals per day
  • Accommodation (hostel upgrade available at extra cost)
  • Local orientation
  • Project briefing
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ back-up
  • In-country transfers subject to start date

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Nearest airport(s): Nadi (NAN)

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

Flights

Flights are not included in our project costs. However, Frontier have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with Frontier. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact Frontier’s dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email frontier@flightcentre.co.uk .

Visas

For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.

Insurance

You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.


LEGAL STATEMENT
Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

To apply for this project, or to register your interest, just click on the orange "Apply Now!" button at the top of the menu. Fill out and submit a short application form and then one of our advisors will give you a call back to answer any questions and to progress your application if you wish to continue.

There is no obligation when making an application, and you do not need to pay anything at this point.