Volunteer in Fiji
Although most people know about Fiji’s reputation as the perfect holiday spot and honeymoon escape, many are unaware that you can be more than just a tourist by volunteering here. There are rewarding community and conservation programs available to join throughout the year where you can do more than sunbathing, experience the local culture, make a difference and enjoy one of the most beautiful destinations in the world.
Volunteer Programs in Fiji
Guide to Volunteering in Fiji
We are committed to ensuring that you enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Fiji Islands. Therefore, if one of your goals is to enjoy the country that you wish to volunteer in, then Fiji would be your best bet! Your career break, gap year break or break will be one to remember when teamed up with volunteering and holidaying whilst in Fiji. Fiji is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world along with its landscaping, diving and cultural diversity, catering for all ages, it will certainly be a trip that you will never forget.
Local organisations have been birthed out of the need that there ought to be a source of inspiration to each other using our skills and expertise to help and to build a bridge to each of towns and villages. If you are looking to give back and you feel that your call is to come and serve in Fiji we, there are orgs which can help create a really special experience. You can choose from lots of exciting placements for all different people and interests. Volunteering in Fiji will give you the experience of your life where you will also get free time to relax on beautiful beaches.
You will develop an appreciation of what life is like for locals and as a tourist. Many tourists to Fiji only ever experience life as a tourist and this is the beauty of doing a volunteer project in Fiji, you can have them both! You will have lots of opportunities to sight-see as a tourist on weekends (or your days off), taking advantage of the best rates possible which is one of the benefits of booking a program with One World 365. For both small and large budgets you have we understand your needs and therefore there are a lot of great discounts available to you once you get here! You can help in several locations in Fiji, a lot of programs are located in Yasawa, Nadi and Suva on Viti Levu - Fiji's largest island. There are also marine and sea based programs available where you might spend days out in the ocean researching and conserving nature.
Please take time out to view the information below to gain an in-depth knowledge of volunteering in this beautiful country.
Types of Volunteer Programs in Fiji
There are lots of volunteer programs which you can find on our website - this is a great opportunity to live in paradise and explore some of the most remote and beautiful locations in the world. You will get to discover stunning nature and wildlife on marine conservation programs or you can help communities on land.
Wildlife & Conservation Programs
Fiji is one of the most beautiful countries in the world with over 300 islands, there are stunning rain forests, coconut plantations, volcanoes, stunning shores and also diverse wildlife and marine animals which all need to be protected. There are over 4,000 miles of reefs and over 1,500 species of sea life surrounding the Fijian islands and on a lot of marine conservation programs you will spend time either on the ocean in a boat or actually going diving, swimming or snorkeling to carry out research. If you have never been scuba diving before you can be trained at an extra cost. The aim of conservation projects in this region is to monitor and help coral reefs and fish species survive long term.
Tourism is a huge industry in Fiji but this has a negative effect on the local environment destroying wildlife areas and creating problems with rubbish. On some projects you will get to visit and work on deserted remote islands where you will get amazing pictures, tasks can include beach clean ups, help create land/marine protected areas and research/implement better long term plans beneficial to local people. On some placements you can gather research or work within local communities trying to get local people involved in conservation efforts. If you are passionate about animals there are placements and internships with wildlife charities in places like Nadi where you can help with the day to day running of a rescue and rehabilitation centre. No previous experience is needed but if you are already working in veterinary your skills will be put to good use helping dogs, cats and other animals.
Community Development Projects
When you think of Fiji the first images which come to mind are while sandy beaches, clear blue waters and tropical beach hut style accommodation. But the reality of living in this country for local people can be far from this idyllic dream, a local World Bank study in 2009 said around 30% of the native population live below the poverty line. This is a due to a umber of reasons including the economy, job prospects and also basic education systems. As a community volunteer in Fiji you will get to help improve living conditions and provide better infrastructure for local people living in the country. The local Fijian government have implemented lots of community and healthcare programs with the aim of providing a better treatment for local people.
Group building and construction projects are popular and a great way to make new friends whilst constructing buildings like schools, community centres and also better sustainable living facilities. Some of these trips work in 27 villages on the Yasawa Island where local people struggle with food and water shortages at certain times of the year. There are also medical and healthcare placements with local NGO's who are working to improve peoples health and living habits, so whether you are training, are already working in this capacity this experience might appeal to you. Sometimes you will get to help vulnerable members of society e.g. elderly, disabled and poorer people living in more remote regions of the country.
To apply, you will need to be open minded, adaptable, flexible and most organisations will need you to be aged 18+. Anyone younger can request and your request will be looked into, there are special short term 2-4 week long trips for groups aged between 16 and 17 too - this offer an educational and structured experience. Gaining a visa to enter Fiji is fairly easy and programs can be booked in advance for 2017. Programs cater to gap year, career break and retired volunteers or whoever is taking a break from their normal day to day routine.
As a volunteer in Fiji we believe that you should firstly have a heart to serve as most projects will test and stretch your abilities (mentally and physically) due to the way of living that we in Fiji are used to. Fiji is an outdoor country and so you will need to be able to work in hot/sunny conditions. Volunteering in Fiji is not all hard work, usually you will be required to help for around 5 hours per day with 2 days off per week meaning you will get lots of time to enjoy your surroundings. There is so much you can do during your free time too including sightseeing, relaxing or joining adventure sports.
Accommodation usually comprises of either large dormitory style rooms situated close to projects, allowing visitors to live as part of the community. Sometimes private rooms and also home stays are available on request. Facilities can be basic but more than adequate; hot water on some islands is rare so expect cold showers but this isn't a bad thing due to the warm climate. Living with a local host family giving you the very best of Fiji Island hospitality. In most cases you will have shared accommodation with other volunteers in the same home. Accommodation is simple here in Fiji and therefore you must come prepared not to expect living standards as you would back home. For example, some host homes may not have hot water for showers etc. You will take your breaks on the weekends or on your days off and this way you will see Fiji at your pace, along with understanding our day to day lives as Fiji Islanders.
How to Apply
Most organisations including both international and local NGO's provide structured programs where you will need to pay a fee to participate. This can vary depending on the project / length of time you would like to join. The price you pay usually includes placements, orientation, training, transfers, accommodation, meals, in-country support and excursions. A portion of the price you pay also acts as a donation to local charities/projects and also helps support the local economy by providing wages to local people being employed. If you need any help arranging a volunteer placement in Fiji please get in touch.
Low Cost, Free & Paid Volunteering in Fiji
To get a paid job in Fiji you will need to be a skilled professional who can add benefit to local people/communities or run programs working directly for a conservation organisation for example. Finding low cost and free volunteer programs in Fiji can be difficult due to the popularity in terms of tourism for this destination, even if you apply to a local charity or NGO you might be asked to raise hundreds of dollars which goes back into work on the ground.
Fiji Volunteer Reviews
If you have ever volunteered in Fiji and would like to review an organisation / project, share your experience or give any advice for future participants write an article for us.
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