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Community Development Expedition in Fiji

Work with local people on community development projects in the South Pacific

Program Details

Program Type

Volunteering

2 weeks from

$2,290.00

Code: FJMO0409E
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Program Information

Help community members to implement important livelihood strategies and protect the environment for future generations in the traditional coastal villages of the Dawasamu District of Fiji.  Assist with key infrastructure construction projects, set up community based income-generation initiatives, volunteer in local kindergartens and schools, and work on studies that inform important environmental management decisions on this exciting and varied expedition project.
Overview
Project Life
Project Details
Free Time
The Team
Dates & Costs

Overview

Make your home among the luscious forests and mountainous backdrop of the Dawasamu District on the east coast of Viti Levu Island.

You will be working alongside local people on a range of community development initiatives at one of our two bases in the Tailevu Province of Fiji.

As a hands-on member of this expedition team you will be involved with a diverse variety of key initiatives involving such themes as fresh water management, education enrichment, environmental monitoring and mapping, income generation, waste management, health awareness, women’s empowerment and sustainable agriculture practice.

The dramatic Fijian landscape is defined by sweeping volcanic hillsides, dense jungle, fresh water waterfalls, extensive beaches and colorful coral reefs. In this picturesque environment you will set to work helping community members to develop important infrastructure for future generations.

Please note, this program offers durations up to 24 weeks. Speak to your Country Expert for more details of extending your stay in-country

Highlights include…

Directly participating in the construction and installation of rainwater harvesting systems, building vegetable gardens, volunteering in local kindergartens and schools, helping rural communities set up income generating projects, interacting with villagers and making lifelong friends, visit idyllic traditional Fijian villages and be immersed in the Fijian way of life. On weekends or pre/post your volunteer work you can enjoy island hopping between stunning remote island locations with beautiful beaches and breathtaking scenery, participating in activities such as scuba diving, dolphin watching, hiking to waterfalls, snorkeling, traditional ceremonies, cave swimming and Fijian language lessons.

Testimonials

"I just recently returned home from the education project in Fiji. I knew that this was going to be an adventure that I would never forget but what I didn’t know was how it would change my life. Before I left for Fiji I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life, now I have a strong sense of direction. I firmly stand behind GVI and everything it stands for, thank you for this life changing opportunity. I WILL be involved with GVI for many years to come!"

- Tyler McKay, (USA)

GVI Live

These updates cover all programs in this location

GVI FIJI

Come and visit one of the happiest places on earth @lonelyplanet http://t.co/RoJFHQc8ep
December 12, 2014

GVI FIJI

The tree planting farewell tradition at Caqalai continues! Huge thanks to all volunteers leaving today. http://t.co/a8U3dDOsQ2
December 12, 2014

Fiji Islands Video

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Students

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • 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
  • Community work workshop
  • Construction techniques training
  • First Aid & CPR training
  • Transfer to base location
  • Construction materials

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

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
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • 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
  • Community work workshop
  • Construction techniques training
  • First Aid & CPR training
  • Transfer to base location
  • Construction materials

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Course Life

The team rises bright and early to prep for the day ahead. You will review current projects and then head to the project site with your team to start work.

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 with meals are cooked by teams on a rotational basis.

Project work generally runs Monday to Friday with weekends providing time to relax and explore the local area.

Fiji’s many charms provide a wealth of opportunity for the traveler, world class dive sites, tropical beaches, island hopping and snorkeling are some of the most popular ways for volunteers to take it all in. Fiji’s famous culture, warmth and hospitality will make every adventure a pleasure. For more information on your time off project, see the Free Time section above.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • 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
  • Community work workshop
  • Construction techniques training
  • First Aid & CPR training
  • Transfer to base location
  • Construction materials

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Course Details

The goals and priorities of this expedition are discussed and determined in collaboration with the local communities of the Dawasamu District. There are five core focuses of the expedition: WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene), health and nutrition, income generation, education enrichment and empowerment, and environmental management and protection.

In both locations GVI works to enrich the education available to children and our expedition volunteers will be involved with various interactions at the local schools during the expedition duration.

Overall, our program aims to assist villagers to adapt their livelihoods in response to the changing pressures on traditional life due to both environmental and social change. GVI focuses on empowering communities by actively engaging important issues involved with the factors that inform their quality of life, such as access to fresh water, access to education, food security, and options for income generation.

Volunteers help the local communities develop small income generating projects, assess environmental impacts, enrich available education, and solve basic infrastructure issues through improvements and new initiatives. In comparison to other areas of Fiji, this district is relatively untouched by tourism and there are few sources of income for the local community.

How this program makes a difference

GVI works directly with local communities by supplying volunteers to help with initiatives that improve quality of life, enrich education, and reduce risks associated with climate change and natural disaster events.

So far our initiatives have successfully increased access to fresh water, improved education resources, enriched educational opportunities, and expanded income generation options for these communities.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • 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
  • Community work workshop
  • Construction techniques training
  • First Aid & CPR training
  • Transfer to base location
  • Construction materials

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Life on the Internship

The team rises bright and early to prep for the day ahead. You will review current projects and then head to the project site with your team to start work.

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 with meals are cooked by teams on a rotational basis.

Project work generally runs Monday to Friday with weekends providing time to relax and explore the local area.

Fiji’s many charms provide a wealth of opportunity for the traveler, world class dive sites, tropical beaches, island hopping and snorkeling are some of the most popular ways for volunteers to take it all in. Fiji’s famous culture, warmth and hospitality will make every adventure a pleasure. For more information on your time off project, see the Free Time section above.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • 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
  • Community work workshop
  • Construction techniques training
  • First Aid & CPR training
  • Transfer to base location
  • Construction materials

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Program Details

The goals and priorities of this expedition are discussed and determined in collaboration with the local communities of the Dawasamu District. There are five core focuses of the expedition: WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene), health and nutrition, income generation, education enrichment and empowerment, and environmental management and protection.

In both locations GVI works to enrich the education available to children and our expedition volunteers will be involved with various interactions at the local schools during the expedition duration.

Overall, our program aims to assist villagers to adapt their livelihoods in response to the changing pressures on traditional life due to both environmental and social change. GVI focuses on empowering communities by actively engaging important issues involved with the factors that inform their quality of life, such as access to fresh water, access to education, food security, and options for income generation.

Volunteers help the local communities develop small income generating projects, assess environmental impacts, enrich available education, and solve basic infrastructure issues through improvements and new initiatives. In comparison to other areas of Fiji, this district is relatively untouched by tourism and there are few sources of income for the local community.

How this program makes a difference

GVI works directly with local communities by supplying volunteers to help with initiatives that improve quality of life, enrich education, and reduce risks associated with climate change and natural disaster events.

So far our initiatives have successfully increased access to fresh water, improved education resources, enriched educational opportunities, and expanded income generation options for these communities.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • 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
  • Community work workshop
  • Construction techniques training
  • First Aid & CPR training
  • Transfer to base location
  • Construction materials

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Project Life

The team rises bright and early to prep for the day ahead. You will review current projects and then head to the project site with your team to start work.

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 with meals are cooked by teams on a rotational basis.

Project work generally runs Monday to Friday with weekends providing time to relax and explore the local area.

Fiji’s many charms provide a wealth of opportunity for the traveler, world class dive sites, tropical beaches, island hopping and snorkeling are some of the most popular ways for volunteers to take it all in. Fiji’s famous culture, warmth and hospitality will make every adventure a pleasure. For more information on your time off project, see the Free Time section above.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • 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
  • Community work workshop
  • Construction techniques training
  • First Aid & CPR training
  • Transfer to base location
  • Construction materials

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Project Details

The goals and priorities of this expedition are discussed and determined in collaboration with the local communities of the Dawasamu District. There are five core focuses of the expedition: WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene), health and nutrition, income generation, education enrichment and empowerment, and environmental management and protection.

In both locations GVI works to enrich the education available to children and our expedition volunteers will be involved with various interactions at the local schools during the expedition duration.

Overall, our program aims to assist villagers to adapt their livelihoods in response to the changing pressures on traditional life due to both environmental and social change. GVI focuses on empowering communities by actively engaging important issues involved with the factors that inform their quality of life, such as access to fresh water, access to education, food security, and options for income generation.

Volunteers help the local communities develop small income generating projects, assess environmental impacts, enrich available education, and solve basic infrastructure issues through improvements and new initiatives. In comparison to other areas of Fiji, this district is relatively untouched by tourism and there are few sources of income for the local community.

How this program makes a difference

GVI works directly with local communities by supplying volunteers to help with initiatives that improve quality of life, enrich education, and reduce risks associated with climate change and natural disaster events.

So far our initiatives have successfully increased access to fresh water, improved education resources, enriched educational opportunities, and expanded income generation options for these communities.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • 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
  • Community work workshop
  • Construction techniques training
  • First Aid & CPR training
  • Transfer to base location
  • Construction materials

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

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 pthe rogram.

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 enroll in a scuba diving course and dive the various dive sites in the region, home to abundant marine life, colorful 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 Harbor, 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 characterized by white beaches, crystal blue lagoon and dramatic rugged hills, some with summits 600 meters 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

Lauren Bird
Operations Manager

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
Base Manager

Meet Katie, our Base Manager in Yasawa. She worked for British Colombia’s Ministry of Forestry before volunteering with us in Fiji, her favorite 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.”

Daniel Lund
Country Director

Meet Dan, our Country Director in Fiji. A former freelance journalist and travel writer for the Penguin Rough Guide, Dan is quite the outdoorsman. When not working, he enjoys the amazing diving around Fiji, working on his underwater photography and exploring Viti levu on his dirt bike.

What does Dan think volunteers bring to the table? “They both power and define the projects.  Every day we have volunteers teaching and interacting with a few hundred children, volunteer divers surveying reefs and collecting data, hands fixing rainwater harvesting systems and planting vegetables, as well as cooking, cleaning and generally running our little villages.”

Dan’s favorite part of his job? The motivational aspect. “I enjoy visiting the communities we’ve impacted and hearing the villagers talk about the experience they’ve had with our volunteers and projects – this is usually the most significant motivational aspect of my job.”

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 practice alarm. “I’m still confused about why, out of an entire boat load of people, they assumed it was me who had gone overboard…”

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2015
2016

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Charitable Trust Climate Offset Contribution

Donate money to GVI’s Chartiable Trust Carbon Offsetting initiative and help reduce the impact of climate change and help communities who are most affected.
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GVI Internship Training Fee - Fiji Yasawa

Only available for volunteers who are staying for a minimum of 4 weeks. By doing so, volunteers will receive additional training specifically designed to develop leadership skills and prepare volunteers for a career in the field.
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My Travel Safe 1 Year Subscription

Ultra secure ‘cloud storage’ for copies of key info / docs - passport, insurances, tickets, names & addresses, credit cards etc. Also has encrypted communication – far more secure than email. See www.mytsafe.com
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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
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • 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
  • Community work workshop
  • Construction techniques training
  • First Aid & CPR training
  • Transfer to base location
  • Construction materials

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Our Impact

Location

Fiji Islands

Our programs here are based in two stunning locations. One in the Yasawa Islands, a chain of rugged islands, known for their white sand beaches and crystal clear lagoons. A 5-hour journey from the mainland, our base is on Nanuya Lai Lai Island, on the edge of a picturesque blue lagoon. 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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Come Meet Us

Every year we host a number of our very own open days and you are invited!
February 2015
21st February
New York
16:30-19:00
26th February
Boston
16:30-19:00
28th February
San Francisco
16:00-20:00
March 2015
5th March
Los Angeles
16:30-19:00

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