January 2011 volunteer project

Yavu village


The Community Tourism project of January 2011 had been requested to achieve specific aims in the village of Yavu, Batiki, in partnership with the Lomaiviti Provincial Council and guided by the action plans of the National Centre for Health Promotion and the “Towards a Healthy Fiji” Programme. These aims include holistic development in 5 areas: Physical, Mental, Social, Financial and Spiritual.

These aims stem from the action plans submitted by the villagers of Yavu, created through workshops and assessments conducted by the Ministry of Health and the Fijian Government.

Following approval by the National Health Promotion Council and under the direction of the Lomaiviti Provincial Council and the Integrated Community Development Taskforce, Think Pacific has been requested to assist the priority project objectives set forward by Yavu Village as:

1.1 Physical Development

1.1.1 To build a village community hall, 12m by 8m in size and designed by Think Pacific’s architect Aporosa Vasu, and built under the supervision of Think Pacific’s Batiki building manager Jimmy Manuel.This hall will act as a central and important facility for the entire village, facilitating community interaction, cultural protocol, education and training. The primary use is to enable the entire community to gather together for village meetings, host guests, perform ceremonies and run an island kindergarten. 

1.1.2 To paint the newly built community hall, both inside and out, and to paint the roof.

1.2 Mental Wellbeing

1.2.1 Kindergarten:

To establish, equip and run a kindergarten in Yavu village for the kindi children on the entire island of Batiki, introducing numbers, colours, arts, crafts, music and drama, which will be led by the community tourists, and assisted by a member of Yavu village.

1.2.2 Health & Environment Workshops:

To encourage the aims of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Environment, by leading classes in health and environment awareness programmes, focusing on waste management, recycling, infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases and oral health as examples.

1.2.3 School:

To assist the teachers at the Batiki District School, with daily lessons and activities for classes 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8. 

1.2.4 Sports Development: To encourage sports uptake through the introduction of daily sports coaching lessons at Batiki District School. To provide equipment and enable access to coaching in a variety of sports including rugby, netball, football, rounders, cricket, swimming and hockey. To support local teachers with training practises and share basic sports knowledge so they can continue the sports training as a long term and structured programme. To instigate the first sports coaching classes at Batiki District School.

1.3 Social and Cultural

1.3.1 To create a positive interaction between community tourists and villagers by advising community tourists to respect Fijian culture and customs and village protocol.

1.3.1 To facilitate skills sharing from the Fijian people to the community tourists, advising and instructing community tourists in traditional village protocol, and Fijian skills such as weaving, cooking, fishing and farming.

1.4 Financial

To encourage income generating principles in the community, through fundraising events and guidance for local businesses.


In total Think Pacific donated $18,379.77FJD solely for the completion of the holistic development objectives in Yavu village. This funding purchased the materials and resources needed to fulfil the following objectives:

2.1 Physical Development

2.1.1 Building the entire community hall from foundations to completed structure.

2.1.2 Painting of hall completed in its entirety.

2.2 Youth Initiatives

2.2.1 Kindergarten

Establishing and running a Batiki Kindergarten. Initiatives included teaching numbers, shapes and colours, introducing songs and nursery rhymes, arts and craft lessons and tooth brushing and hand washing. Themed days including a sports day, picnic and superheroes day were a great success.

2.2.2 School

Daily assistance provided in the Batiki District School, with community tourists supporting teachers, as requested by the school, for classes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8.  

2.2.3 Sports Development Sports equipment for the implementation of sports development at Batiki District School, supplied by Think Pacific. Daily sports lessons established from 3.30pm-4.30pm by the Think Pacific community tourists at Batiki District School, for all age groups. Community tourists introduced for the first time sports including rounders, hockey, cricket, football and swimming to supplement those known to the children, including rugby and netball. Introduction of these sports was very successful, with interest and potential shown by the children. Community games organised by community tourists, including football, netball and rugby. The first Batiki Sports Competition in Football, Netball and Rugby was a huge success. Yavu “TP Olympics’ organised in the final week. This involved competitions in fun races including egg&spoon, wheelbarrow, three legged and frog races.

2.2.4 Health programmes Workshops conducted in Batiki District School and kindergarten in accordance with the Fijian Ministry for Health. Including: Washing hands and teeth brushing teeth clubs organised for the kindergarten children. Smoking, Healthy Living and Dental hygiene; raising awareness on the effects of smoking, the importance of a balanced diet and exercise, and how to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Class 7&8 also looked at mental health, working in small groups with female and male community tourists.

2.2.5 Environment programmes

Programmes conducted in Batiki District, in accordance with the Ministry of Environment. Including: Waste disposal and marine preservation, with correct methods of disposing of rubbish, recycling and the protection of turtles and the reefs.

2.3 Social and Cultural

2.3.1 Activities: mat weaving, making a ‘bilo’, fishing and Fijian cooking were very well received by the community tourists and enabled local people to transfer their skills to the Community Tourists. Community Tourists gained greater respect and understanding for Fijian culture and traditional local skills through the activities organised

2.3.2 The village homestays were an absolute highlight for the community tourists, as they made extremely strong bonds with their village families and friends.

2.3.3 Community Tourists Gillian Kerr (23), Olivia Steans (19), and Harry Petrie (20) celebrated birthdays during the project in Yavu, as did Think Pacific Expedition Leader Alex Paske (20), and the celebrations were a fabulous occasion of Fijian celebration.

2.3.4 Community tourists respected the religious customs of village life in Fiji, including prayers before meals and attending Sabbath services.Community tourists participated in Church services, singing a hymn in 2 divine services.

2.4. Financial

2.4.1 $115fjd raised for the Batiki Kindergarten through fundraising event in the community as Bingo & Movie Night. Community tourists also sold popcorn, juice and lollies to raise money, and there was a raffle of a Think Pacific sulu.

2.4.2 $ 216.75fjd  raised for Yavu community through village fun day. Stalls included; Face Painting, Refreshements, Beat the Goalie, Stocks, Sawing &Hammering and Coconut Shy. There was a raffle of two Think Pacific sulus at $1/ticket and a $2 soli for lunch given.

View image gallery
It was the best experience of my life. I feel like I've come away with some of the closest friends you can ever make.
Lucy Price, Shrewsbury
Order a brouchure