We were delighted to guide students from both Northumbria University and the University of West of England this summer, as students spent a month leading education, extra-curricular and sports programs for Fijian Children in Namosi Province, led by Northumbria Students Jamie Jones and Bethany Powell and the Think Pacific team.
The students, who came from a range of degree disciplines supported children with a range of education and sports projects at rural Wainiyavu Primary School and village kindergarten.
Over the course of the month the team organised small group and one-to-one lessons for pupils, providing children with dedicated tuiton in English and Mathmatics and led an early years education initiative. Even after just a few weeks, the improvements in the children’s understanding was visable to see. Each afternoon the volunteer students organised sports, increasing skills in areas as diverse as Rugby and Dance. During extra-curricular and house cup projects, the team introduced, songs, games, public speaking and an end of project festival. A hugely rewarding experience for all involved and we’d like to thank the students, their respective universities and the wonderful village of Wainiyavu for their kind and generous hospitality.
Volunteer, Alana Dobson from Northumbria University posted about her exprriences;
“Having the opportunity to go to Fiji and live in a small village with the locals, teaching and sports coaching, has been amazing. It was a once in a lifetime chance that I’m so glad I took. Seeing how people in the village lived without electricity, proper plumbing, clean water and a solid education has truly made me appreciate everything I have in life. I’ve realised just how lucky I am. The people of Wainiyavu were some of the nicest, most caring people have I have ever met and I’m pleased the village allowed us the opportuinty to stay with them. I would love more than anything to return one day in the future. Think Pacific is an amazing charity and I’m so happy I got to work with them. I’m also thankful that I got to work with such an amazing team, I don’t think this experience would have been the same without them. I urge anyone if you ever get an opportunity like this take it, you won’t regret it.
During their project the univerity students were also visited by the British High Commissier for Fiji, H.E Roerick Drummond along with delegates from the Foreign Office from London who were visiting Fiji and came to see their impact.
We hope the students’ amazing memories of a summer spent volunteering stays with them for a long time to come and that the experoence has a positive impact upon their own lives and their further studies and careers.