November 24th, 2014

Think Pacific proud to be official partner of Cardiff University for volunteer projects in the Fiji Islands!


Cardiff Uni

Think Pacific is extremely pleased to be an official partner of Cardiff University and their Global Opportunities Centre, which aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop new skills and apply knowledge in a practical based setting, whilst also offering an unforgettable experience!

The first Cardiff University team shall touch down in Fiji in July 2015, delivering a youth and sports development project which provides vital education assistance,  a range of extra-curricular activities, focused youth initiatives and sports coaching workshops, whilst also offering increased access to resources and opportunities for under-privilieged youths  in remote and rural areas.

Our first project presentation shall be held at Cardiff University on Thursday 27th November, and you can email info@thinkpacific.com, call us on 0113 2538684, or visit the dedicated ‘Cradiff University Project’ facebook page at www.facebook.com/getcardifftofiji for more info.

We are very excited to have officially launched this partnership, and look forward to meeting, briefing and leading our first Cardiff University volunteer team very soon!

November 23rd, 2014

Nairai Team – Beach walk, snorkelling trip, spear fishing & roasted coconut for our volunteer team!


Pic 1 - Beach

During project life Saturdays provide an opportunity to explore the local surroundings, on both land and sea. Our team in Natauloa took the chance to enjoy a walk along Nairai’s beach and coastline, before strapping on the snorkels and heading out onto the reefs. With a few of the village boys by their side, this also offered an opportunity to try the local art of spear fishing, which provides key subsistance living during day to day life on the island.

Pic 2 - Beach

As our volunteer Ed explains, it was quite a day:

“On a sunny Saturday afternoon we walked along the coast of Nairai to attempt the local art of spear fishing! Led by two of the villagers we put on our snorkels and began to scan the coral for fish. We weren’t exactly naturals, but we were still rewarded once we got back to the short with fresh coconut and papaya in the glorious sunshine. The village boys also gave us a treat by roasting coconut on a fire they had made which was delicious!”

November 22nd, 2014

Think Pacific proud to partner UNICEF at the 25th anniversary celebration event for the ‘Convention on the Rights of the Child’ Treaty!


Pic 1 - CRC@25

Twenty five years ago the world’s youngest citizens were finally recognised by an international treaty – The Convention on the Rights of the Child, and Think Pacific was very proud this week to support and assist UNICEF with the anniversary celebrations in Suva.
 
Increasing opportunities for Fiji’s youth through the development of infrastructure, education, training and support is a core aim and passion of the Think Pacific Foundation (Fiji), and firmly promotes the key message delivered by the United Nations Resident Co-ordinator Ms Osnat Lubrani, who said in her opening address:
 
“Today we celebrate and reflect on the Convention on the Rights of Children. It reminds us that focus on survival is good, but not enough; we also have to work for the development, protection and participation of children. The CRC gives us a checklist for every right for every child, and reminds us to pay special attention to the children who are the most vulnerable.”
 
Pic 2 - CRC@25

As part of this fantastic event programme, Think Pacific was very pleased to partner UNICEF in delivering games for students from the Gospel School for the Deaf. The games included ‘rugby-netball’ and ‘tag rugby’ sessions, and it was fantastic for our staff team to engage the students in organised sports activities, and the kids had great fun and played with huge enthusiasm and excitement throughout.

CRC@25 (6)

The event also saw an address from the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Women, Children & Poverty Alleviation who spoke of ensuring that ‘no child is left behind’, whilst Year 7 student Natalia Nacola from the Holy Trinity School offered a poignant summary when urging everyone to “dedicate themselves to the Convention on the Rights of the Child – and to act, with urgency, to advance those rights for every child.”

There were also some fantastic meke and dance performances from the children, whilst the winners of a UNICEF art competition held across the Pacific were also announced, with the chosen pieces being compiled into a 2015 calender.

CRC@25 (10)

We would like to thank UNICEF for inviting Think Pacific to support such a worthwhile event, and we very much look forward to developing our partnership further to promote and encourage sustainable development for children and youths in Fiji and the Pacific!

November 21st, 2014

Gau Team – An emotional farewell to the wonderful community of Nukuloa as our volunteers leave a lasting legacy on the shores of Gau!


Pic 1- Last Night

After a great final week relaxing, exploring, fishing, trekking, splashing, house cup finals, final church service and more…the big last night of grog and hop hop arrived, and it was with mixed feelings of sadness and excitement for our volunteer team.

The team spent the day relaxing with their families, taking pictures and enjoying moments with the kids, until the farewell service began. The team prepared and practiced speeches and the Marron 5 song ‘Daylight’ to perform together, in the new community hall, before the lali began to beat as the church service began.

Pic 2 - Final Night

The team enjoyed a number of hymns and a speech on behalf the village, including very kind words of thanks for their new community hall, and all the work the team had done within the school, the village, the island and the time and love they’ve shown to all the families and their fellow villagers.

The team then performed their lovely songs, and Sophie, Vicky, Tommy, Georgie and Libby read the speech on behalf of the team, which was amazing and beautifully received by the village. After an emotional goodbye service, the team all went for a massive fest with their families and clans, before having a rest and heading over for our traditional ‘tatau’ to the Chief.

Pic 3 - Final Night

After some rest, the team arrived in the hall ready for a massive night of grog and ‘hop hop’ until sunrise, and to wait for the boat to come and collect us from our home away from home. The team were hyped up after the sad day, and were all up dancing with the village, clapping hard for their bowls of grog and having a great last night with their families.

As 6am approached, the team gathered their bags, and loaded them onto the boat, and said their last emotional goodbyes to their families and friends in Nukuloa. The whole village and children gathered along the sea wall and in the water to wave the team off, and sung Fijian goodbye songs as we left our amazing village.

Pic 4 - Final Night

Our Nukuloa volunteer team has left a massive and lasting impression on the village, leaving behind a community hall that the villagers will enjoy for generations to come, a huge programme for the children whom they’ve coached and taught, and of course family, friends and memories that will last a lifetime. A big ‘vinaka vaka levu’ to our amazing hosts in Nukuloa, and a massive thanks to our amazing, hard-working and fun team, as without both, none of the incredible experiences that have taken place over these past 9 weeks would have been possible!

November 21st, 2014

Gau Team – Spear guns & line fishing for our volunteers, and turtles & reef sharks spotted during snorkelling fun!


Pic 1 - Fishing

In the final week in the village, the team also got to opportunity for some last minute fishing trips, some heading out into the waters with the spears, and the others taking a boat trip to different spots around the beautiful reef trying their hands at fishing with the line.

Pic 2 - Fishing

The spear fishers were taken out with some experienced Fijian boy’s, and had a successful day catching some big fish, especially Vicky who caught a massive puffer fish. The team also saw some turtles, which was an amazing experience to see these rare animals in the wild!

Pic 3 - Fishing

Our line fishers however only managed a few smaller fish, but there were enough to take back and enjoy! But team enjoyed the varied shades of blue sea in the reef, and enjoyed amazing views when they snorkelled, with some even spotting some reef sharks!

November 20th, 2014

Nairai Team – Christmas decorations in arts & crafts and ‘The Commonwealth’ theme at Nairai District School!


Pic 1 - School

Classes 1, 2 & 3 – by Muge, Philippa & Mae

We were happy to receive the new TP box of school supplies so we planned a Christmas themed arts and crafts lesson to make the most of the resources. We cut out the shape of a big Christmas tree and explained the Christmas tree decorations that we have in England to the class.

After drawing some examples on the board, we split them into groups and asked them to each make a decoration, using the new crayons and glitter glue (most of the glitter ended up on the children, not the decoration!) Each group then stuck their decoration onto the Christmas tree and then we hung the tree up in the classroom. The lesson ended with singing jingle bells!

Pic 2 - School

Classes 4 & 6 – by Yvonne

Our theme for the week in class 4 & 6 has been ‘The Commonwealth’ in preparation for our own mini Nairai Commonwealth Games next week.

The children did not know anything about the Commonwealth so i started by asking them which countries they had heard of and showing them flags from the UK. We expanded on this to look at the countries that make up the Commonwealth – they guessed there might be 5000 people in the commonwealth so they were surprised to learn that the figure was closer to 2.1 billion! The children then created their own countries – ‘Kingfisher Land’ and ‘Parrot Kingdom’ and have worked in their respective countries all week.

I introduced the top of the Commonwealth values by relating it to their school values such as respect and tolerance. We talked about children of different religions and nationalities and then they each drew a picture of themselves, decorating their stomach with the flag of a different country to make a colourful display in our ‘commonwealth corner’. They love art lessons and took great pride in their work which was lovely to see.

One of the best parts about village life is how much everyone enjoys singing whether at school, church, or even just when playing. It was no surprise then that class 4&6 were excited to learn ‘The Rhythm of my Heart’ a Rod Stewart song that was used in the opening ceremony at Glasgow 2014. We added in our own rhythms and this will be our opening song for our competition early next week.

Teaching hasn’t been without its challenges but I have enjoyed introducing a new topic and moments such as seeing their reactions to my photos from volunteering at the Glasgow Games! If nothing else then it is always amusing when I’m walking around the village and one of the children starts singing The Rhythm of my Heart to me!