Archive for the ‘April15 - Ra’ Category

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Ra April Team – Kindi Finale; ‘I’m pleased that we have made a positive difference to the first stage of their education over the 8 weeks that we have been in Malake!’

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It was great that I got a chance to go back to kindy this week and see how much had changed since the first week when I was there. It has improved a great deal and it was good to see the kids smiling faces. There was a clear structure to the days and they had a good balance between learning and playing. The kindy teacher also seemed more relaxed and appeared to have taken on the advice of other volunteers in the previous weeks. She was very keen to try new things and welcomed the addition of “leader of the day” and “toothbrush club”, which appeared to be very successful!

However, Chris and I noticed that the children still couldn’t recognise the numbers 1-10 if they were out of sequence. So we decided to try out a practical way of learning instead of just repeating the numbers out loud. We made each of the children cuts of the numbers which they could colour in and decorate. Then we said to the class “find your number 1” and they would have to look through their pile of numbers for the correct one and then hold it up. This gave them all a chance to learn independently and in a practical way. The numbers could also be reused at any time in the future which the kindy teacher liked the idea off.

We also had a pirate themed day with the kids which they were very excitable about. We made paper hats which they painted and wore all day. We then went out on a treasure hunt to find numbers that were hidden around the school. It may not have been the best idea letting 4 and 5 year olds run around the school making noise and disturbing other classes, but they seemed to enjoy being out of the classroom, plus they found all the numbers and correctly identified them so it was a successful day!

Overall I enjoyed my week in kindy and I’m glad I got to go back for a second time. The children are always so happy and excited to learn new things. It is vital that the children learn the basic “abc’s” and “123’s” in order to create a solid platform that they can progress from. I’m pleased that we have made a positive difference to the first stage of their education over the 8 weeks that we have been in Malake.

by Sophie

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Ra April Team – ‘As the end draws near and reflections begin, it is amazing to see the impact Think Pacific has made’; The final days for our volunteers at the Malake Village School!

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The sixth week at Malake Village School was our last full week of teaching and the team were determined not to let our standards drop. As ‘No Drug Day’ approached the week involved a lot of poster making to create awareness which was enjoyed by kids and volunteers alike. Time not spent making posters was used efficiently to focus on the slow learners and the progress from week one was now clear to see.

In class 3 and 4 this week was James and he focused on English. With inconsistent numbers it was a challenging week but with fun and interactive games the kids seemed to get a better understanding. A real success was ‘The Ladder Game’ as healthy competition never hurt anyone! By the end of the week celebrations could seen as both teacher and students expressed their delight over correct answers.

In class 5 and 6 Connor also had a productive week tutoring the slow learners. By the end of the week the two students were able to formulate words and sentences properly which was a vast improvement from the start of the week. Connor also took social science with the whole of class 5 and 6, which involved learning about recycling and ways to protect the environment, linking ways the children could keep Malake clean and sustainable.

The penultimate teaching week was an extremely productive week. The team have noticed vast improvements amongst the kid’s willingness to learn compared to the start where the task seemed quite daunting. Not only their willingness but their ability has come on leaps and bounds. The connections we’ve made with the kids has enhanced the motivation but unfortunately enhanced the challenge of saying goodbye. As the end draws near and reflections begin, it is amazing to see the impact Think Pacific has made!

By Connor and James

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Ra April Team – Community Rugby; ‘A perfect result for our last performance in the Malake Blue Shirt’

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After a few weeks off to collect our thoughts and come back as a more unified team, the boys took back to the field wearing the blue of Malake. Searching for our first win of any type since arriving on the island the team were in high spirits.

After a brief team building Westpac walk and some vital pre match nutrition Fraser, Kieran, Chris and a shock appearance from Solo bolstered the team from ‘Hawaii Lei Lei’. Securing an early lead the dominant Malake Blues didn’t let off the pressure in the first half and we went in 8-0 up at halftime.

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Our match, a curtain raiser to the provincial Ra vs. Ba game, didn’t disappoint. With more yellow cards than a Sunday league football match and a whistle happy referee the penalties flowed thick and fast!

Rejuvinated by the fresh legs of Kieran and Chris the dominant performance was seen through until the final whistle. The final score 16-0. Not a perfect game but a perfect result for our last performance in the Malake Blues Shirt!

By Kieran and Fraser

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Ra April Team – ‘I was overwhelmed by how much effort everyone had put in for me’; Flo celebrates her 22nd birthday in Malake!

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One of the most memorable parts of the trip for me and something I will look back on very fondly is celebrating my 22nd birthday in Malake. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a Fijian birthday but my family, the volunteers and the whole village put in a huge effort to make it truly unforgettable.

We started the celebrations in Kindi, having a traditional kids party complete with pass the parcel and musical statues. We danced the morning away as every 22 year old should in the early hours of their birthday. In the evening I was banished from my house by Phoebe who had spent all day with my family arranging some sort of big surprise!

I will never forget the moment I walked round the corner and saw the sight of our house decorated head to toe in streamers, balloons and banners with Brits and Fijians alike buzzing around putting on the finishing touches to the beautiful birthday display. I was overwhelmed by how much effort everyone had put in for me!

I was swiftly whisked away to be put in a traditional Fijian dress and, much to the delight of the other volunteers, looked remarkably like the Michelin Man.  Villagers came in force and we all feasted on a ridiculous amount of food provided by everyone (the criteria being strictly no bones – my worst enemy in Fiji). Phoebs and the family provided two delicious cakes which I had no problem demolishing and with full stomachs we all ‘hop hop’ed’ the night away with much merriment.

It was one of the most special birthdays and I am so thankful to the volunteers and my beautiful Fijian friends and family for all the love, hard work and effort they put into making my 22nd Birthday the best yet!

by Flo

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

Ra April Team – ‘Children should be learning NOT earning’; Volunteers join Malake students in awareness march against child labour!!

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The day began with the kids and volunteers eagerly waiting for the march to commence. The children lined up in excitement to get their face painted and with strong messages imprinted on their foreheads the campaign for no child labour and better education quickly reverberated throughout the village.

With the kids all raring to go and songs well rehearsed the march soon began. Two traditional Fijian songs were soon being sung with pure passion by all involved – the village community most definitely heard us coming! Now with the warning songs over, the vast army of marching children stormed the village ready and set to deliver a vital and inspiring message. As chants ensued people from all corners of the village gathered to witness the spectacle. With confidence growing the chants only increased in volume, with Jemesa and Kilioni shouting at the top of their lungs, “What do we think of child labour?” to a deafening response of “No!” from the Fijian children!

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With the march now coming to an end the passion and excitement from everyone never faltered. This was highlighted by no one better than our leader Saki, as he led the kids with the chant, “Stop child labour now!” to the bitter end. All in all, a key message was put across by the great effort put together by the teachers and pupils of Malake Village School.

by James and Kieron

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

Ra April Team – Sports Outreach; Volunteers deliver Rugby, Netball & Dodgeball sessions for Rakiraki District School students!

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Our Ra April volunteers were back on the road last week, delivering our Sports Outreach programme to the Rakiraki District School students, a school that sits on the outskirts of the small market town in Ra.

Arriving in the afternoon the kids were ready and waiting, and full of excitement, for the sports programme to begin, with Sophie and Flo delivering a Netball session, Tom, Fraiser and Kieran on Rugby and Chris, Connor, Tony, James and Courtney on Dodgeball.

The sessions were a huge success, and it was great to once again take sports and physical education to areas with limited access and opportunity!