Archive for June, 2014

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Gau Team – Volunteers learn traditional crafts from Navukailagi villagers as they make their own ‘bilo’!


For their first taste of learning traditional Fijian crafts the villagers of Navukailagi taught our volunteer team how to make a Fijian ‘bilo’, the cup used to drink the local kava.

Making a bilo takes some love, care and attention, as you first have to scrape the outside, before cutting the coconut in half and taking out all the flesh. It’s then about patienece and perserverence, scraping the inside until totally smooth. The villagers make it look so easy, and when nice and smooth the bilo will then be buried in the ground for 1 week to give it its black colour.

It was great for our volunteers to immerse into the Fijian way of life and learn some talents from the community, and we look forward to attempting a Fijian mat next week!

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Koro Team – Youth & Sports aims unite Kade & Nabasovi students in epic Inter-School Sports Tournament!

Pic 1 - Inter-school sports

A big ambition of our Youth and Sports projects on Koro is to establish a grass roots sports league for the primary school students on the island. Last week we took another important stride towards achieving that aim, as our volunteers loaded onto the trucks with the class 5-8 students of Kade school, and travelled to neighbouring Nabasovi for a Rugby and Netball tournament.

Pic 2 - Inter-school sports

With Nabasovi having a much larger school roll, it was planned for the school students to combine in creating teams that would then compete within the tournament. The rugby saw 2 squads of 15 players do battle across 4 10 minute quarters, with the boys embracing the opportunity for competetive sports, and the volunteers assisting with the officiating and coaching on game day. The standard of rugby is improving weekly through the sports coaching sessions, and it was great to see the kids enjoying themselves.

Pic 3 - Inter-school sports

Netball saw a huge tournament underway with a number of mixed school teams, and with just 7 minute games the action was thick and fast. After some very competetive and enjoyable games, the tournament culminated with a Kade Girls Vs Nabasovi Girls match. Once again the students used techniques which the team had introduced through the sports coaching session, and it was a great game of netball and a fitting finale, with all the parents, team and kids cheering and chanting!

Pic 4 - Inter-school sports

It was then time for our TP team to take to the field in an attempt to topple the students in a clash of the titans netball match, and whilst our boys may not have had the skill and precision, they certainly won the laughs of the crowd as they graced the pitch in full netball attire!

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Koro Team – Small Group Sessions, Drawing Competitions, Educational ‘Hangman’ & Interactive Learning at Kade and Nabasovi Primary Schools!

Pic 1

Over the last 2 weeks our youth and sports volunteer team on Koro continue to develop their educational assistance at Kade and Nabasovi Primary Schools, implementing a range of methods and activities to engage and encourage the students.

Kade Primary School

At the Kade school Mike and Will introduced the small group learning sessions for members of classes 5 & 6 who were excelling in certain subjects, allowing them to progress their learning whilst offering the teacher an opportunity to focus upon those students struggling within the subject area. The sessions included advanced advanced methods of multiplication in Maths, and letter writing in English, with a letter draft being posted to the Ministry of Education seeking assistance for the school.

Pic 2

With the class 7 & 8 students Paige continued to develop the literacy skills of the kids, completing Treasure Island before asking the students to then design a book cover of their own and write a short piece summarising the story. The idea was to encourage the students to use their imaginations within creative writing, whilst also applying written skills.

Recognising that the students respond to a variety of teaching methods, in classes 1, 2, 3 & 4 Hannah and Anna had some fun, whilst also looking to educate the classes, with games of ‘Hangman’ and ‘Heads Down, Thumbs Up’. James also appealed to their sense of creativity and competetiveness when having a drawing competition, with the kids asked to draw their village from different perspectives.

Pic 3

Nabasovi Primary School

Using the tool of letter writing across both primary schools, Will asked class 6 at Nabasovi Primary School to write a letter of invitation to their birthday party, promoting their written English whilst allowing the kids to have some fun.

Ciara also encouraged the use of fun games and activities to assist with learning in classes 3 & 4, joining the kids when singing the alphabet song, and playing word games during English classes.

Pic 4

In classes 7 & 8 Theo and Lygon were able to assist with the ‘Cinema class’ for the students, helping them in learning about films, production, directing and Hollywood itself. Often those subjects and lessons that are outside of the mainstream curriculum get great enthusiasm from the kids as something new and exciting, and it was great for the guys to be involved.

Just as in Kade the team have also been eager to promote more interactive learning for the students, and during her time with classes 5 and 7 at Nabasovi Primary School Paige asked them to make environmental awareness posters, comic strips for creative writing, and paper fortune tellers on different themes to assist with revision.

Pic 5

It has been fantastic to see the progress and development of the teaching methods and aims at both schools over the last 2 weeks, and the team are looking forward to continuing these initiatives here on Koro!

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Leeds Met University Team – Volunteers enjoy rope swings and rock pools at Coli-i-Suva, a stunning natural water park!

Pic 1 - Coli-i-Suva

With Saturday offering the team an opportunity to enjoy some very well earned fun and games after big weeks on project, our Leeds Met University volunteers headed for one of Fiji’s most stunning natural waterparks; Coli-i-Suva. Situated within a natural reserve park, Coli-i-Suva boasts a number of rock pools, waterfalls and rope swings, and provides a play pen for many kids, youths and families!

Having made the 45 minute trek along the jungle track and path, weaving amongst the rock pools dotted in the rocks, our team arrived at the centre piece of the park, and were quickly into the water for some splash time.

Pic 2 - Coli-i-Suva

The rope swing provided huge entertainment, with many braving the challenge by swinging out and over the rock pool, before plunging to the water beneath. Some even showed some flair, with flips and spins on display!

With smiles on faces everyone then made the walk back to the bus, before setting off for the National Stadium to cheer on Fiji in their Pacific Nations Cup match against neighbours Samoa. It was a cracking day for all, and one which left plenty of smiles on faces!

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Volunteer Stories – Transport theme brings wonderful mess to Kindi as cars are driven through foam! by Gau Team volunteer Rachel.

Pic 1 - Kindi

In the morning we started off with the ‘morning song’, which is introducing each other to the class in the form of a song while waving to each other. Following on comes song time, which is singing lots of different nursery rhymes from ‘Old McDonald’ to ‘Little green frog’. Free play was introduced giving the 3-5 year olds the option of different activities; jigsaws, colouring and lego.

Pic 2 - Kindi

For our second day in kindi, the four of us volunteers took the weekly theme of ‘Transport’ and tried to plan activities around our topic. To finish off the day we made a station with talcum powder and shaving foam mixed together, before driving cars through it to make tracks. It was very messy with all the kids getting stuck in driving cars through the foam, and then spreading it all over each other for good measure. It was very exciting for the children as they had never experienced this kind of mess before and they had a great time. I’m very much looking forward to next week, with lots more chaos and mess with the children in Kindi!

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Koro Team – Our Youth & Sports volunteers conduct Sports Outreach Clinic at Koro High School!

Pic 1 - High School

A key initiative within our Youth and Sports projects are the Sports Outreach clinics, run by our volunteer teams to promote and support grass roots sports development. On Koro the first outreach session was conducted at Koro High School, and we asked our volunteer Lygon to provide a brief on the activities implemented across the age groups:

Pic 2 - High School

“Last Friday we went to Koro High School to coach sports for our first Sports Outreach Programme. We coached 3 sports to the kids, who ranged in ages from 15 to 18. The sports we coached were Rugby, Football and Netball. In Netball we worked court movement during a game situation and passing techniques, implementing these two skills together in a series of quick fire drills. In rugby we worked on close quarter defence, working on technique at the breakdown. As well as defensive organization and intensity in close quarter attack. This culminated in a game on a small pitch forcing contact to focus on the areas we had worked on. In football the team worked on correct passing drills, decision making drills which offered a few situations and the students had to make the right decision, and the crucial first touch. It was a great success, with volunteers and students alike enjoying it enormously.”

Pic 3 - High School

The team have since returned to the High School for a follow up session, with Will, James and Lygon taking a very successful rugby session. Paige and Mike took Netball, under the instruction of Anna who wasn’t quite feeling well enough to make the outreach, but had helped plan the entire session. Mike showed off his chest passing and shooting skills, whilst Paige took everyone through the drills working on passing and spacing. Theo then took football, with a little help from danny, where the students were asked to work on shooting techniques and tackling. Aagain the clinic proved extremely successfull, with the students showing real interest and enthusiasm to learn!