Past volunteers

Volunteer stories: Chris Leahy


I never imagined leaving Savuna would be so hard after just 3 weeks. Everyone was so sad that we were leaving I don’t think I saw a dry eye from anybody. The whole village came down to the sea shore and lined up so we could say goodbye to everyone individually which was really good. Saying goodbye to my family was 100 times harder than I imagined, my two brothers were crying so much I saw how much I had come to mean to them. I really felt like I was part of the family and I realise they saw me as their brother. Our last night was really special a few of us stayed up all night in the hall with the village doing hop-hop until 7am. The Navuti band played for 12 hours and was amazing their voices were the best I’d heard during my stay. At 0630 they played “I know the lord” which everyone joined in for, when I think of that night that is the song I remember because it bought out so many emotions for everyone.

My time in Savuna couldn’t have been any better I have made some amazing friends and gained 2 brothers. I feel so privileged to have spent time there on this project because we really saw how much it meant to everyone, one man Nemani said about 4 generations of his family have walked down to the well to get water. It wasn’t until we had finished and I spoke to people about it that I realised what a huge impact we have had on their lives.

I have well and truly caught the Fiji bug and hope I will be able to back to my village soon, 3 weeks is not enough for me it felt like we were there so long but it went so quickly I’m just glad I made the most of every second of my time, I don’t feel I could have done any more.

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The whole 5 weeks was absolutely amazing, never a dull moment, it really was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Katie Thorn, Derbyshire
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