Aims in Fiji
How you make a difference
Volunteers are the backbone of our charity in the Fiji Islands and as part of each expedition we achieve some incredible aims.
1. Physical development
Achieving infrastructure aims is central to each Think Pacific project. Each team starts and completes a building aim during their specific project. The entire construction and planning is funded by Think Pacific.
Our buiilding projects focus only upon community facilities which benefit the wider population and are associated with health, education, training, support and social cohesion. These projects cannot feasibly be self funded locally or funded by other means. Each project is assessed, monitored and supported by our local government partners to ensure the need is a apparent and the project has long term sustainability.
2. Financial Wellbeing
Promoting enterprise, creating opportunity and facilitating the local communities to drive forward their plans to establish small scale businesses is a key foundation of the local sustainability plan and central to ensuring local empowerment over poverty.
Think Pacific volunteer lead enterprise initiatives for teenagers with the communities and the funding from our volunteers helps to foster local small enterprises in the outer islands. These village based income generation projects come from local ideas and the initiative and hard work of local people. This income is sustainable and is retained within rural areas.
Think Pacific's commitment to using local suppliers means that even during the R&R phase of each expedition, we allocate the expedition fee to make a vital financial contribution to Fiji. We pay a fair price for all our goods and services and we know this money is going directly into local communities, allowing people to earn a decent income, often their first ever income, from tourism.
3. Social Wellbeing
We immerse volunteers into the traditional Fijian way of life and encourage our teams play an active role in the culture and customs of Fiji.
Each project has a Fijian Mata ni vanua, appointed by the community to act as a traditional spokesperson for the team and assist our volunteers to immerse into Fijian life.
We organise regular 'Fijian family days' so our volunteers experience, first hand, the 'kaiviti way' as they fish, farm, cook and adopt a traditional subsistence lifestyle. Volunteers learn traditional skills such as bilo making, meke dancing, basket weaving. These are skills, which communities are concerned may eventually be lost by younger generations. Through volunteers showing an active interest and by structuring these activities into our daily volunteer project, this engages children and teenagers and ensures that traditional Fijian skills are passed down to younger generations.
A major element of our project is the amount the volunteers themselves learn and take away from the beautiful, communal, respectful and traditional way of life in the villages.
4. Education and training
Think Pacific volunteers establish kindergarten schools to develop nursery level education, lead health awareness and environmental awareness initiatives, introducing art, music, drama and sports coaching and support education initiatives by assisting primary school teachers, implementing new ideas as well as offering one-to-one English lessons within the village to children and young adults in the community
A central focus of our projects is establishing the first village kindergarten classes in the morning and a structured programme of sports activities and training each afternoon, both of which have sustainable local management aims, with local community members taking leadership of these projects and continuing these schemes locally in the long term.
We are currently working both with the government and local training organisations to establish an apprenticeship scheme to provide access to skills training for young Fijian adults
5. Sensitive cultural experience
Think Pacific is non religious organisation, however, adopting a very sensitive approach to local religious and cultural protocol is intrinsic to our project phase. We set a dress code within our code of conduct to ensure our volunteers display modesty and do not offend local people. Our volunteers are often invited and attend church and also traditional ceremonies within Fijian communities.
Alex Jenkinson, BelfastI had the absolute time of my life with Think Pacific. Everything was just so far beyond what I could have asked for, or expected.