British High Commission Visits UK University Students on Building Project in Nativi Village

Published 29/07/2022

Last week, the UK Deputy High Commissioner, Paul Welsh, visited Nativi village for the opening ceremony of a new health dispensary, completed by Think Pacific volunteers in partnership with the Ministry of Health.

Supported by funding from the UK Government’s Turing Scheme, twenty-two students lived with families in Nativi village to complete a 4-week cultural immersion and building project.

The Turing Scheme, University Partners and Think Pacific

Launched in 2021, the Turing Scheme has replaced the Erasmus+ programme in providing funding for participants in UK universities, colleges, and schools, to go on international study and work placements.

Lots of our university partners successfully applied for Turing Scheme funding to help their students embark on a unique 4 week global, work-based programme in the Fiji Islands led by Think Pacific, in partnership with the Fijian Government and other local partners.

Throughout the project, participating students expanded their cultural fluency and global citizenship, as well as accessing Think Pacific’s influential partners at an international level.

A Warm Fiji Welcome for UK Students

The group included students from some of the largest universities in the UK, including; Aberystwyth University, University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, Cardiff Metropolitan University, University for the Creative Arts, University of Durham, University of Exeter, University of Glasgow, University of Hull, the University of Leeds, University of Liverpool, University of Manchester, Newcastle University, Swansea University and University of York.

“…to have our projects back on the ground after the Covid-19 pandemic is so exciting”

Think Pacific’s Co-Founder, Harry Hunter stated that, “since 2009 it is our biggest privilege for volunteers to be welcomed into rural communities and to have our projects back on the ground after the Covid-19 pandemic is so exciting. I’d like to take this opportunity say a huge thank you to all of our partners for their help in relaunching our programmes since the borders re-opened”.

A Local Approach to Partnerships

It was a great honour to be joined by the UK Deputy High Commissioner, Paul Welsh, for the opening ceremony. Working with the Fijian Ministry of Health and Government partners helps ensure all our projects contribute towards Fiji’s National Development Plan, in conjunction with the UN Sustainability Goals.

Together, we can help contribute to a healthy, happy Fiji.

Paul Welsh, posted on twitter to say, “I have rarely experienced such an enjoyable visit in Fiji. 22 students built a dispensary, built friendships, opened their minds and opened their hearts. Awesome”



Speaking on behalf of the University of Bristol as the Global Opportunities Officer, Lucy Millington stated that, “We are delighted to support Think Pacific’s projects and would like to thank local partners and communities for welcoming our students in Fiji. By participating in Think Pacific’s projects and living with local communities, students develop global citizenship and cultural fluency, as well as practical skills. We are proud of the contribution all Think Pacific participants and partners make towards Fiji’s National Development Plan.”

Want to learn more about our projects in Fiji?

Watch the video below or click here to explore our programmes.

Does Fiji sound like your ideal gap year destination?
Here's what to do next: