Archive for the ‘Leeds Met 2014’ Category

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Think Pacific Scholarship – Nemani Buliruarua & Solomone Sigawalem – Leeds Met University Volunteer Funding Initiative


Think Pacific was very pleased this week to offer the first ‘Youth & Sports Leader’ scholarship placements to two inspirational youths, Nemani Buliruarua and Solomone Sigawale. These one year placements, which allow unemployed youths to join Think Pacific for training and employment opportunities, were made possible through the kind fundraising of our Leeds Met 2014 volunteer team, and we are extremely proud, and indeed lucky, to have them both join our ranks, and support and assist our staff team here in the Fiji islands!
When Think Pacific delivered a Sports Camp in April, in partnership with the Fiji Sports Council and FNSC, it was a fantastic opportunity to work alongside both Nem and Solo, who displayed an incredible passion for youth & sports development. Volunteering at the event through their local youth club, they had a huge impact over the five days, creating a phenomenal rapport with both the children and our development officers. 

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With our Leeds Metroplitan University volunteer team arriving just weeks after the camp, there was an immediate opportunity for us to enagage the boys with a work experience placement for the 6-week project, filled with a huge amount of youth & sports aims and initiatives. They proved an instant hit with the team, and performed above and beyond expectations in supporting the leader team. Both Nem and Solo found their feet very quickly, and by the second week were leading elements of project, in particular Solo in Kindi & Nem in the Primary Schools.
Following this impressive impact on project by both Nem and Solo, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring them into the TP fold, and to be able to utilise their talents and interests for our volunteer teams and development aims, whilst hoping to provide them significant work experience and further skills, and a keen opportunity for long term employment with Think Pacific.

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It is an action packed start for Nem and Solo within their new roles, as we look forward to them introducing sports activities across schools in the Suva area, and working on the up-coming 2 week childrens Sports Camp, before they travel to the outer island of Gau for our 10 week project in September. As expected they have hit the ground running, delivering a Rugby League coaching clinic with our Development Officers in Rewa just yesterday!
We would like to say a big ‘vinaka vaka levu’ to our Leeds Met University volunteers for their fundraising efforts in allowing such a worthwhile initiative, and we look forward to working side by side with Nem and Solo in the months ahead !

Leeds Met Arrival Pic 1

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Think Pacific would like to thank Leeds Rhinos player & ex-Leeds Metropolitan University student Jimmy Keinhorst for his kind donations!

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On behalf of the joyful members of the village of Burebasaga in the province of Rewa, Think Pacific would like to thank Jimmy Keinhorst for his kind donations.
The Leeds Rhinos, German international and ex-Leeds Metropolitan University rugby league player popped into our UK office a few months back to hand over a collection of his jerseys, shorts and socks, all of which made their way to Fiji with our recently departed group of Leeds Metropolitan University volunteers.
Knowing the Fijian craze for any piece of clothing with a rugby association, Jimmy’s bag of supreme Fiji fashion was treated with the respect it deserved. To find a setting which was fitting for the delivery and liberation of the donations they were utilised as prizes at two of our culminating events on the Leeds Metropolitan University project.
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Following a massive five weeks living as part of the Burebasaga community, the volunteers hosted a Think Pacific tradition in the form of a village ‘Fun Day’. Baking cakes and building stalls such as a ‘bat the rat’ and a ‘coconut shy’, the volunteers distributed the donations as grand prizes across three stalls: “design a jersey”, the tombola and the raffle.
A couple of Leeds Rhinos jerseys were kept aside as ‘Man of the Match’ prizes for what was the first ever rugby league match to be held in the Rewa Province. With the concept introduced and coached by members of the Think Pacific team, the villagers and volunteers living within Burebasaga and Noco prepared for weeks in the build up to facing one another.
The event was supported by the Fiji National Rugby League, who provided equipment and referee’s for the match, which in time shall be remembered as the catalyst for the soon to be registered - Rewa Rugby League team!
Friday, July 25th, 2014

Think Pacific introduce Rugby League to the province of Rewa, in partnership with the FNRL & the Full Blood Project

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On the final Friday of our recent Leeds Metropolitan project, the two groups of volunteers living in neighbouring home-stay villages came together with members of the community to take part in the first ever rugby league match in the rural province of Rewa.
The match between Burebasaga & Noco, was a culminating event for a month of training and workshops which were delivered by the rugby league enthusiasts within the team, using the concepts of The Full Blood Project.
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The goal of implementing a grassroots programme and competitive match was created by the intrigue of the villagers to experience a sport which is rapidly growing in Fiji, through the success of the national team at last year’s World Cup.
Sessions were held every Friday afternoon at Burebasaga Primary School by Ellie, Josh, Tom & Nigel. Within just four weeks they delivered a unit of coaching sessions which developed the villagers as efficiently as possible from the absolute basics of the game through to game preparation, in order to achieve their aim of competitive play by the fifth week. The weekly structure was:
Week 1 = Ruck familiarisation; Week 2 = Defence; Week 3 = Attack; Week 4 = Game Preparation; Week 5 = Competitive Match
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The standard of play during the ‘friendly’ match was a wonderful moment for our volunteers to witness the success of the villagers implementing what they had learnt. Picking up a new sport within such a short space of time was a testament to their enthusiasm and attentiveness to learn.
The event as a whole was a wonderful afternoon which promoted community interaction, and delivered a delightful opportunity for those not taking part (volunteer & villager) to sit on the sidelines and mingle with families from surrounding villages.
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At the end of a bruising encounter both teams huddled for a traditional hymn, presentations and speeches. A man of the match was selected from each team and both were presented with a Leeds Rhinos jersey, donated by current Leeds Rhinos player & ex-Leeds Metropolitan University student, Jimmy Keinhorst.
The event was supported by the Fiji National Rugby League who provided the equipment and referee’s for a match which in time shall be remembered as the catalyst for the soon to be, Rewa Rugby League team. Following the match, FNRL Operations Manager, Joe Savou, gathered the participating villagers to provide them with the information to register a team for the 2015 Vodafone Cup. Think Pacific shall continue to support the team with follow up sessions from our Youth & Sports Officers in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Volunteer Stories – Students respond in a way I never thought imaginable! by Leeds Met University volunteer Nicole


Teaching in class 7 and 8 at Rewa District School this week taught me exactly why I came on this project. Since day 1 you know that everything you do is for the kids and you just want to help them. However, years 7 and 8 responded in a way I never thought imaginable.

The week started off as a bit of a trial on Monday, but that night I stayed up late writing maths, English, and music lesson plans.Throughout the week I discovered two new projects, Drama and Music.


In English, the students had never looked at plays before, so having studied drama myself I took this great opportunity  and asked  them to write a play.  After looking at Treasure Island, the children wrote a play based on Fijian myth or legend which included; characters, stage direction and script dialogue.

After producing the script, they had to perform it in front of the class and volunteers, and  I even had to mark it as it was a classroom assessment. It was truly amazing to see their hearts set on something you have asked them to do.

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I am passionate about music, but his week opened my eyes at how you can develop other’s passion. It started off in class 7 and 8, where the teacher asked for a music class, so I taught the basics of reading music, then they learnt ‘Don’t stop believing’ over the week and practised, before on Friday they performed it beautifully.

Not only were 7 and 8 singing this week, but I started singing lessons with a very talented year 8 girl. I did this so that she could develop her already impressive voice. I also started a choir with classes 5-8 and they really enjoyed it, and the 7 and 8 teacher is going to carry it on. The choir can already say they have sung for the British High Commissioner, who was very impressed with the school’s raw talent. This week taught me that you can try anything on project and you really only get out what you put in!

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Volunteer Stories – Working within the Fijian schools has been an opportunity of a lifetime! by Leeds Met University volunteer Aysha

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It’s hard to say what has been my favourite part of the expedition so far, but working within the Fijian schools has been an opportunity of a lifetime!

Today I spent my last day of teaching in Kindergarten, where me, Cheyenne, Jess and Aimee hosted a party playing well known British party games such as ‘Musical bumps’, ‘Musical statues’ and ‘Pass the parcel’. The Children were also excited by the face paints as they were transformed into butterflies!

Seeing the progress the Kindi children have made on the alphabet, numbers and their English speaking skills has taught the volunteers the impact 5 weeks can have on children’s lives, and as our trip comes to an end the volunteers will all be sad to say goodbye to the teachers and children that have formed such a big part of our time in Fiji.

We have been welcomed by everyone and Burebasaga is definitely our home away from home!

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

‘Vinaka vaka levu’ to Analesi, of The Little Ones Learning Centre, for visiting our Leeds Met University volunteers and Rewa Kindergarten Schools!

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At the end of last week the team were treated with the eagerly anticipated visit from a familiar face, Analesi, the Co-Founder of ‘The Littles Ones’ Learning Centre and a Global Leader for Young Children under the World Forum. Analesi had previously spoken with the team on the Kindi program and the importance of Early Childhood Education within Fiji during their project briefing, and her presentation inspired the volunteers to make an impact as they hoped to carry her passion throughout their time in Rewa.


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Analesi visited each of the 4 kindergartens, bearing gifts such as stationary and games. On arrival she was delighted to see 4 young, enthusiastic volunteers in each of the settings, especially the strong male presence which is non-existent within early child education in Fiji. The childrens’ progression in Kindi has been the most evident from the project phase, as they have progressed from being too scared sitting amongst the volunteers, to counting to 10 and singing timeless classics such as ‘the hokey kokey’.

Analesi was thrilled with the success of our introductory Kindi scheme in the Rewa province and proud to see our volunteers sharing the same passion whilst implementing their routines and concepts.


Pic 3 - Analesi

We would like to thank Analesi, and the Little One’s Learning Centre, for their continued support and guidance for our volunteer teams and kindi programmes, and we look forward to developing our impact further in local Kindi schools.