Fiji. The name conjures up images of a tropical island paradise, where you can relax on the beach, sip piña coladas and indulge in some of the world’s best snorkelling and diving, hiking, cultural activities, hand-line fishing, and cave visits. You can even swim with manta rays depending on the season!
While all this is true, sadly many local Fijians are currently living below world standards of health and poverty. The reality of life on the islands is a far cry from the paradise that first meets the eye. They struggle from day to day with an immense shortage 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.
Our partner’s foundation was set up on the Yasawa Islands to give something back to the villagers, to thank them for welcoming us to their land. Our team has been working closely with local village chiefs and communities to ensure that we do not displace their traditional way of life, and that the changes we bring will be beneficial, not detrimental, to the locals. We aim to improve the provision of basic needs and amenities for villages throughout the Yasawa Islands, and we seek to do this both through direct aid as well as by acting as a facilitator, bringing landowners and residents together with those who can help.
If a holiday in Fiji combined with the opportunity to lend a helping hand to people in need appeals to you, volunteering will be a highlight of your travel experience. You’ll work alongside both locals as well as other volunteers on specialised projects, helping the villages achieve access to basic needs. All areas of development are designed to be sustainable and have low environmental impact. Some key areas of focus are: creating solutions that support sustainable, self sufficient communities; achieving and maintaining access to clean, reliable sources of water; developing ‘micro enterprises’ based around nutrition, including food crops and education; supporting local schools with education supplies and aid; assisting with ideas, information and solutions for power sources; and researching and educating locals about the management and value of the marine environment.
Our volunteering programs are based on the remote Yasawa Island group, which consists of a chain of 20 ancient volcanic islands. The resort is situated on spectacular Drawaqa Island between two beaches, one of which overlooks a breathtaking lagoon boasting a large channel formed by coral gardens, where majestic manta rays come to feed.
Set amongst mature trees, just a few steps from the beach, are the Standard Double/Twin Bures and Dorms with shared bathrooms and facilities. Safari tent-style Deluxe Bures with ensuite bathrooms are also available as an upgrade. All rooms are serviced daily. Bed linen is provided, however, you will need to bring all towels and toiletries. There is a basic laundry service available for a small fee. Meals are a social scene, with both volunteers and resort guests dining in a communal setting.
Each program begins and ends on a Saturday, with volunteer work carried out Monday to Friday. Saturday and Sunday are enjoyed at your leisure. Sunday is typically a ‘day of rest’ in Fiji so supervised activities are limited, but volunteers usually choose to chill on the beach.
Where your money goes
The fee for the volunteer programs covers your accommodation, transfers, meals and project costs. The Trust also raises funds for village projects through donations made by each volunteer, as well as donations from partner companies, organisations and individuals. It is important to us that our efforts remain cost neutral. It remains a key principle of the Trust that the majority of the funds raised will be spent on the delivery of specific field projects. The small percentage that does not go directly to these projects instead goes towards administration costs, such as toward the recruitment of new volunteers.
So apply now to volunteer and extend a helping hand to the people in Fiji.