March 9th, 2014
It has been another busy couple of weeks for our volunteers assisting at the Moturiki District School. In week 4 Jamie, Sam, Libby, Rich and Tash were taking school by storm, planning and teaching lessons and learning a lot themselves also through the interactions with the students And in school this week Sassy, Jack, James, Adrien and Sam had to be proactive in assisting eachother with their classes and lesson plans, as a few of the teachers were away with commitments meaning that the volunteers assumed even more responsibility with the English and Maths classes in particular.
It has also be another cracking couple of weeks in kindi, with the “Under the Sea” and “Farmyard Animals” themes for all leanring and arts and crafts elements of the kindi day. In week 4 Theo, Martha, Morag and Ciara had lots of fun and mess making posters (being covered in blue paint by the Kindi kids) and teaching songs… the sponge bob square pants theme tune has already become a personal favorite with the kids and volunteers!
In week 5 Will, Jim, Libby and Tash were very successful with the farmyard theme, including games such as “pin the tail on the donkey” and classic songs like “Old MacDonald”. The kids loved it and so did the guys!
As a treat for the kindi kids the team also organized a Disney day! All day everything was Disney, including the songs, arts and crafts and of course a Disney film! And on Friday the kindi crew were out and about, taking all the kids on a teddy bears picnic, which was a perfect end to a wonderful week!
March 8th, 2014
It has been a big effort on build for our Moturiki team, as the structure for the Moturiki District School kindergarten has really started to take shape. Despite some “tropical weather” over the last 2 weeks, the team certainly did not let this dampen their spirits…in fact the cooler temperature was a breath of fresh air as Sassy, Jim, James, Jack and Adrien tackled the dizzy heights to put on the rafters and roofing irons.
It was then down to Martha, Laura, Theo, Jamie, Rich, Morag and Ciara to carry on the momentum as our Think Pacific builders. They started the week completing the roofing irons, before moving onto the walling. This means working in threes to measure each piece or walling timber, saw it to exact size, and nailing it in nice and flush. Under Sami’s watchful eye the build crew pushed hard, and by Friday afternoon all the walls were up on the Kindi!
The next step for the build will be laying the flooring, before the windows and doors are pieced together and the team complete the finishings…just 2 1/2 weeks to go and the building will be completed and ready for the MDS kindi kids and classes, exciting times!
March 8th, 2014
My 22nd birthday is certainly one I will remember for a very long time, with a day in the sun playing netball with the year 7 n 8 girls, and then the celebration in the evening. My Fijian mum had spent the day making a traditional Fijian dress for me. It consisted of two straw shifts, a white sash and a huge flowery garland. The whole family dressed me and walked me to the hall where all the women and men in the village had prepared a huge lovo (feast). I was seated at the top table surrounded by every type of Fijian food you could think of..dalo, dhal, fish, chicken stir fry’s, eggplant, and of course watermelon. The icing on the cake (excuse the pun) was the gigantic banana cake sent over from Suva by my sister in law. A few of the elders from the village said speeches, quoted from the bible and wished me well in life. Then everyone sang some songs before the feast began! This was followed by a kava party and lots of hop hop (Fijian dancing). I honestly cannot think of a better way to spend my birthday and I can’t thank the village enough for making it so special!
March 6th, 2014
On Saturday morning in Vione the heavens had opened, so the planned first aid morning in the village did not go to plan; not many of the villagers willing to venture out in the storm! Undeterred our guys got re-organized and set to go for a 1st Aid workshop that evening….and what an evening it was! The aim of the Community Health Day was to introduce and educate on very basic 1st Aid; to clean and cover minor cuts and scrapes, how to make a variety of slings to hold broken limbs and how to help someone who is choking.
Each aspect was presented and demonstrated by the team, and then translated into Fijian to make sure everyone was 100% sure on how and when to use the skills. The team then split into mini groups, each with community members, from the youth, men, ladies and elders. Each member of the group practiced the 1st Aid techniques being taught, until everyone had a full understanding and practical knowledge, which is always so important.
Although it was naturally a serious message being conveyed, the team and village members all very much enjoyed themselves in the process, and we even held a mini raffle of a Think Pacific sulu and little 1st Aid kit for all those who attended. The raffle was won by the Chief of Vione, and how pleased we were as he was the only student willing to brave the rain in the morning! Overall it was an extremely successfull Community Health Day, and we very much hope that the skills taught may assist the villagers, and promote “healthy people in a healthy setting” as under the Ministry of Health’s “Towards a Healthy Fiji” programme!
March 5th, 2014
Although school and sports were rudely interrupted this week by the wet weather, sports were still thoroughly enjoyed. Each day was an opportunity for a different sport; classes 1-4 began the week with a fast and furious game of dodgeball, whilst classes 5-8 shot some spike balls in volleyball. After a few competitive throwing drills, the kids embraced their new knowledge in passing and put their skills to the test in a mini tournament at the end of the session.
On Tuesday both groups remained in the competitive spirit and partook in some sunny games of rounders. Even Master Joe tried his hand, attempting to make the kids run to field some far ranging balls – with little success! Due to the unfriendly weather at the end of the week school sports was traded for team sports, with our guys getting muddy in a competitive game of rugby netball and perfecting their serves in some interesting volleyball matches!
March 4th, 2014
Over the past four weeks our Youth and Sports development officers have been on Koro Island on a mission to share Think Pacific’s passion for sports and extra-curricular activities. During which they have ventured across the whole island, visiting each of the seven primary schools to deliver outreach sports coaching sessions.
Arriving at each school with a bag of outreach goodies the guys met with the teachers and villagers before heading to the field to facilitate skill development and play.
Flirting between Fiji’s mainstream sports and lesser known, the sessions provided a unique opportunity to introduce the children to new sports such as soccer, rounders and modified games alongside their beloved rugby and netball.
We are happy to say the mission was successful in serving as a taster to the schools, who at some point in the future shall play host to our exciting youth and sports development projects and our volunteer teams.
Whole schools and villages gathered to witness children going nuts as they learnt new skills and played their hearts out. It was certainly the reaction that we hoped for, creating a fizz of anticipation for our future teams arriving on Koro Island.
There was also an opportunity to hold coaching workshops with the village youths, introducing core skills and training drills to assist in their personal and club development. Supporting and promoting an island club structure on Koro is a key aim of the Youth & Sports programme, and it was fantastic to begin the process at the grass roots level over the 4 week outreach programme!