Archive for April, 2014

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Nairai Team – Volunteers introduce kindergarten programme to Vutuna village, and begin education assistance and youth initiatives at Waitoga Village School

Pic 1 - school & kindi

With no Early Child Education centre at the Waitoga village school, the next 4 weeks shall see our volunteer team set up and implement a kindergarten programme for the pre-school children of Vutuna and Waitoga villages, which provides a hugely exciting opportunity to provide basic learning, songs, games and healthy habits for the little ones. To kick off the kindi this week we had Will, Jim and Morag, who chose the theme for the week as “Insects”. This included bug related songs and arts & crafts, a birthday caterpillar, bug games and a fun Friday where the volunteers and kindi kids made masks, wings and went on a lovely nature walk together around the village and along the beach!

week 2 - kindi. (10)

On Tuesday the education assistance and youth initiatives at the Waitoga Village School were also underway, with Georgia , Becky, Madhu and Adrien heading into the classrooms. They quickly recognised that the school has a small roll of 59 fantastic kids, full of life and laughter. Georgia assisted in Class 3 & 4, with a week full of games and making displays in extra curricular classes. Madhu was in Class 1 & 2, playing word games and helping those students highlighted by the teacher as struggling with their basic maths and english, which is one of the primary aims of our teaching assistance role under the Ministry of Education. Becky was in Class 5 & 6 and quickly gained their interest and excitement by teaching them singing, a passion of all Fijian children, and some creative ‘About Me’ posters. Adrien was in class 7 & 8, and whilst they were committed with exams during the morning lessons, the afternoons was an opportunity for dance, games and fun activities for the students.

It has been a fantastic start to the youth projects, and the team eagerly await the final day of term celebrations, before kicking off a youth camp programme for the 2 week school break!

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Volunteer Stories – Project aims underway and April 10 week team settle into kaiviti life in Vadravadra village! by Ruth, Pippa & Sara

rugby and vol blog21

Greetings from Vadravadra!

When we arrived last Friday we were greeted by the village with cake and tea before being introduced to our Fijian families. We spent the weekend drinking Kava, relaxing and adjusting to Fiji Time.

Work on the build began on Monday as we moved nearly 900 bricks to different parts of the village. Hard work was made easier with the help of the Fijian children who put us to shame with their limitless energy.

Whilst work continued on the build some of the group spent their first week in the local school. We were thrown in at deep end as we taught our first classes and quickly found new ways to entertain the children. Whilst the Kindi class spent a day at the beach the older children were introduced to Shakespeare and Multiplication. Other volunteers did Arts and Crafts and led small group teaching to help slower pupils. Taking our first lessons and overcoming the language barrier was a real challenge but it was very satisfying to see the pupils respond to our ideas.

As it was the last week of term we made sure we played games such as Heads Down Thumbs Up, Musical Statues and Splat. Unsurprisingly by lunchtime we were very tired but were rewarded with homemade packed lunches and nap time.

In the afternoons we were joined by the building team to take our first sports sessions coaching Rugby and Rounders. The children seemed to get a lot out of it and once again we amazed by their never-ending energy.

Evenings have been spent playing cards, learning Fijian crafts and bonding as a group. Safe to say we are all enjoying life in the village and are looking forward to the weeks to come!

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Nairai Team – A wonderful Fijian occassion as Ciara celebrates her 21st Birthday in Vutuna village!


Birthday events are a wonderful occassion within any Fijian village, and with Ciara celebrating her 21st birthday in Vutuna, the community members and our volunteer team were able to treat her in style!

Ciara’s family dressed her in the traditional Masi dress, worn during very special occassions by Fijian ladies, before gathering together in the community hall for a wonderful feast of kaiviti foods and lovo treats prepared by the village members.

Speeches were made on behalf of the community and volunteer team, as everyone felt privileged to celebrate such a special occassion together. And it was then time to cut the cake, before enjoying a few bowls of grog and the “hop hop” party!

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Nairai Team – Volunteer team settle into their new home of Vutuna village, and prepare for huge project aims ahead!

Pic 1

On Thursday the team travelled to their new beautiful home of Vutuna village, with a swift 2 and half hours on the boat in the glorious Fijian sunshine. The team were welcomed by big smiles and warm hearts, and after settling into their new homes the volunteers presented their traditional sevusevu to the Ratu and clan elders. After the sevusevu was completed it was time to celebrate the arrival in true Fijian style, with a grog party and hophop night!

Pic 2

The next few days were spent exploring the local surroundings, and preparing for the project aims ahead. The team attended their first church service, which in Fiji is a truly wonderful experience, with beautiful singing and a welcome speech. The team also visited the school to meet the teachers and see the classrooms and pitch, where the youth and sports aims will be implemented in the coming weeks ahead. Waitonga school has just 59 children, and is set right on the beach, which provides a huge opportunity and fantastic setting!

Pic 3

Over the weekend there was also opportunities for the team to truly immerse into the kaiviti lifestyle, heading up to the jungle plantations with their families, as they planted cassava, picked bananas and cassava, and enjoyed drinking coconut milk with a stunning view! There was also a spear fising trip in the afternoon, with the team embracing the challenge of catching the fish for the family!

Pic 4

Over the next 4 weeks the volunteer team shall implement a huge range of development initiatives, including providing education classes and a kindi programme for the students of Vutuna and Waitoga, running a full youth programme, with school house cup competition and “youth camp”, daily sports coaching classes for the primary school students, and the construction of a sanitation block for Vutuna village. Sabbath was therefore spent relaxing and resting, ready to kick off on Monday morning!

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

Donation – Fiji’s Under 19 Rugby League team grateful for donation of Opra Mouthguards!

Pic 1

Think Pacific is extremely grateful for all donations received to assist and support our youth and sports development aims in the Fiji Islands. Donated to Think Pacific by Gordon Brown, father of Think Pacific volunteer Harry Brown, we received a set of Opra mouthguards, providing a key resource in player safety for aspiring athletes. This week our Youth and Sports Development Officers were very pleased to present these mouthguards to each member of the Fiji Under 19 Rugby League squad, whilst joining them on camp to provide some education and team building workshops.

Being a first for each player, Nigel and Tom demonstrated the “drop, boil & scoop” method to prevent any scolding accidents five days out from their much aniticpated tour to Australia.

On behalf of the Fiji U19’s squad we would like thank Mr Brown & Opra for this very kind donation. The “Baby Bati” will be protected as they meet the challenge presented by a huge first game with the New South Wales Juniors’ RL on the 4th May 2014!

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Sports Outreach Programme – Development officers conduct sports workshops for primary school students in Rewa province!


Following last week’s coach education session with teachers from each of the primary and secondary schools within the province of Rewa, our Youth and Sports Officers returned to deliver sports outreach sessions to the children of Rt Sauvoli and Rewa District Primary Schools.

The aim of the outreach programme was to introduce the students to the sports workshops conducted by Think Pacific, including physical education in warm ups and warm downs, as well as skill progression and game scenarios, prior to the arrival of our Leeds Metropolitan University volunteer teams, who shall be implementing youth and sports projects in the remote Rewa province in June 2014.


Pic 2

During the workshops at Ratu Savouli & Rewa District Primary Schools, the girls and boys were coached in Rugby and Netball, with Tom and Nigel introducing the children to a structured coaching session, and the kids soaked up the new knowledge and laughed their way through the play elements.

Bringing the kids together at the end to reflect, the feedback was phenomenal. There is an excitement building on either side of the globe for what shall be a huge six weeks when Leeds Met University meet the enthusiasm and excitement of the Rewa schools!