Program Details

  • Program Type: Volunteer
  • Location: Fiji
  • Starting Price: EUR 3,375.00
Fiji

Participate in marine conservation by helping researchers and building capacity in local communities on the issues of environmental protection and sustainable resource utilisation.

 
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General Information

Location: Caqalai, Fiji

Departure Dates: Set Dates, see departure dates tab

Highlights

  • Enhancing your scuba diving skills with daily dives (weather permitting)
  • Gain PADI certifications
  • Conducting underwater surveys in the warm waters of the Pacific
  • See coral reefs up close and discover a myriad of fascinating marine creatures to study

Fiji lies in the heart of the Pacific Ocean on the International Date line and is an archipelago of over 300 lush tropical islands. Fiji is famous for its white sandy beaches, lined with palm trees and for the rich diving and snorkelling experiences which can be found exploring the colourful soft coral reefs, rich with marine life, accessible directly from the beaches, or for deeper dives, just a short boat ride away. This is the perfect location for anyone interested in pacific island volunteering.

Fiji is a leader in eco-tourism, striving to managing its land and marine environments to achieve maximum sustainability. When you volunteer abroad in Fiji you’ll get a chance to contribute to that sustainability, with further opportunities exploring the islands, soaking up the sun on beaches, cruising the seas to remote, secluded coves and bays, and experience spectacular diving! 

Immerse yourself in the turquoise waters of the Pacific and participate in numerous projects to protect wildlife and marine flora:

- Coral survey - data collection and underwater photographs

- Data collection on targeted fish species

- Biodiversity study - monitoring and inventory of marine species

- Monitoring and protection of endangered species: reef sharks, rays, sea turtles and cetaceans

- Environmental education and awareness program for local schools and communities.

All data and statistics are shared with in country research partners, including the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area Network (FLMMA).

Our team of experts provides full-time volunteer support for research and data collection activities. A major goal of our research is to help better inform local communities to sustainably manage their marine resources, in order to ensure a sustainable food supply for future generations.

Volunteers also have an opportunity to teach environmental awareness classes to students in the community. 

Work is Monday to Friday. Weekends are free to additional off-project travel, including diving, road or boat trips, visit the surrounding villages, etc. 
 

PADI Training Scuba Diving

Mission 4 weeks: participants must already be PADI Open Water certified (or equivalent) or take initial PADI training at a diving center near the volunteer camp before starting the mission (at extra charge). You will received your PADI advanced. 

Missions of 8 weeks or more, participants are not required to have a PADI certification since the fee includes the following PADI courses:

  • PADI Coral Reef Research Diver Distinctive Specialty Certificate
  • PADI Open Water or Advanced Open Water Certificate 

Accommodation & Meals 

The Volunteer Camp is based on the idyllic Caqalai Island pronounced ‘than-ga-lai in 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.  Project coordinators are present 24 hours a day on volunteer missions for any question or emergency.

Volunteers take it in turns to prepare meals for the group. Food is a very basic, mostly vegetarian diet: meat is usually provided on base once a week. Breakfast could be porridge, fruit or toast. Lunch and dinner are a mixture of lentils, beans and vegetables with pasta, rice, noodles, roti, cassava or dalo.

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Testimonials

  • Clare Curtis - Australie

    "Thank you for such an awesome experience in Fiji, I have come back reenergised and have changed the course of my medical career – I will be taking next year off to work in the developing world. Thank you all for the inspiring and profound impact you had on my person and my career. I feel that this decision is the beginning of something truly extraordinary!"

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

Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa
  • Activities & excursions
  • Personal spendings
  • Terms and conditions for volunteers

  • Up to date CV/ resume
  • Copy of return flight itinerary
  • Police clearance
  • Basic level of English; understanding and speaking
  • Acceptance subject to availability of position

Payment & Cancellation

The non-refundable deposit payment is due within 48 hours of notice of acceptance onto the program. Deposits are currently €300(or equivalent) or €900 (or equivalent) for Programs costing €5000 (or equivalent) or more, or for Programs with a duration of 90 days or more.

For Programs with a deposit of €300 or equivalent 50% of the balance will be due 16 weeks before departure and the outstanding balance must be paid by the Participant no later than 10 weeks prior to departure. For Programs with a deposit of €900 or equivalent 50% of the balance will be due 20 weeks before departure and the outstanding balance must be paid by the Participant no later than 12 weeks prior to departure.

For Programs with a deposit of €300 or equivalent the Participant will be entitled to cancel at any time up until 16 weeks before departure. For Programs with a deposit of €900 or equivalent , the Participant will be entitled to cancel at any time up until 20 weeks before departure. In the event of timely cancellation, the Participant shall not be entitled to a refund of the deposit, but will be entitled to a refund of any other monies paid. All refunds are subject to an administration fee of €15, or equivalent. In the event of cancellation after the deadlines above, the Participant shall not be entitled to a refund of any monies paid.

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Our team worked closely with local village chiefs and communities to ensure they would not displace the islanders’ way of life, and to make sure the changes they brought to the Yasawas would be beneficial, not detrimental, to the locals. Very quickly, it became obvious that in reality, the villagers live far from the ‘paradise’ that first meets the eye. In fact, the villagers struggle from day to day with immense shortages of clean drinking water, little to no health services or facilities, poor nutrition, a lack of educational support and supplies, inadequate power and no sustainable way of life for the future.

The Trust aims to improve the provision of basic needs and amenities for villages throughout the Yasawa Islands. It seeks to do this both through direct aid and by acting as a facilitator, bringing those who can help together with the landowners and residents.

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