This summer, students from Cardiff University joined Think Pacific on a variety of community development projects in Fiji. The projects included; mental health initiatives, youth empowerment, sports development and a community build.
Funded by the university through the new Turing Scheme, this experience was a huge success at demonstrating the impact global mobility can have on both students and host communities.
In partnership with the Fiji Government, Ministry of Health and local partners, these projects have contributed to Fiji’s National Development Plan and the UN’s Sustainability Goals.
Global Mobility and the Turing/Taith Schemes
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.
The Taith programme will run from 2022 to 2026, supported by an investment of £65m from Welsh Government. It aims to fund 15,000 people from Wales to go on exchanges over the first four years, with 10,000 people from all over the world coming to study, train, volunteer or work in Wales.
Cardiff University successfully applied for Turing/Taith 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.
Cardiff University students joined some of the first projects in the Fiji Islands since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
They lived in some incredibly special locations, including Sovi and Nanukuloa villages.
Each village is unique, bringing individual challenges and opportunities… but all offering an unfiltered experience of the true Fiji.
Tom Rowbotham Shares His Thoughts on Fiji
Earlier this summer I spent a month volunteering in a remote Fijian village hosting workshops on critical topics such as climate change, mental health, public health and more, whilst also fully immersing myself in their village life, culture and joining in with their daily routines.
I feel super privileged to have gone on this trip and have gained so many memories, perspectives and met so many amazing people that I’ll never forget.
A huge thanks to Think Pacific and to the Cardiff University / Prifysgol Caerdydd Global Opportunities team for this incredibly humbling opportunity.
Bula vinaka! 🤙🇫🇯
Hema Bhathoa Talks to Think Pacific’s Benjamin Webster About Life in Fiji
Lucy McKeon’s Experience in Fiji
The last month has been the most incredible, overwhelming and challenging experience that I have ever had
I have spent the last month in the beautiful village of Nanukuloa in Fiji, working with the Fijian charity Youth Champs 4 Mental Health, to educate the village youth about the difference between mental health and mental illness, and suicide prevention, whilst building relationships and making friendships that I will treasure forever
Difficult conversations took place, and at times my resilience was tested, but thanks to my amazing leaders and the most amazing team, I was able to overcome the challenges I faced
Mental health in Fiji, as I have learnt, is a taboo subject and is not spoken about enough, so to see the impact that we have had over such a short period of time has been so heartwarming and I can’t thank Think Pacific enough for giving me this opportunity
Vinaka vaka levu Nanukuloa, sota tale ❤️
Cardiff University Graduate, Bobby Gould, Discusses Life on Project
Looking to the Future
We are thrilled to have been joined by such dedicated and focused Cardiff students in Fiji this year. As travel continues to open up, we are excited to build upon this strong foundation and bring out even more students next year, in partnership with the university and the Turing/Taith Schemes.
Want to learn more about our projects in Fiji?
Watch the video below or click here to explore our programmes.