Community Development Expedition

Volunteer in the Fiji Islands
Life-Changing Work Experience for Students & Graduates

In Partnership with Fijian Government

Volunteer in Fiji and experience the unique culture, customs and way of life in the South Pacific islands.

Make lifelong friendships and shared memories on a challenging team project, whilst gaining global experience, developing unique skills and making a real contribution.

Whether you are looking to enhance your university degree or embark on a meaningful adventure, join a team and work alongside rural Fijian communities on local initiatives which are achieving groundbreaking results.

Project at a Glance...
  • Meaningful 1-Month program in the Fiji Islands.
  • In Partnership with Fijian Government.
  • Complete cultural immersion in rural village.
  • Live with a traditional Fijian family.
  • Work on Community & Build projects.
  • Develop skills, meet like-minded people and make a contribution.
  • Project includes; food, accommodation, 24/7 in-country support, weekend adventures, domestic travel, charity donation. (Flights not included).
  • Expedition costs £1695 for 1-Month in Fiji.
Apply Now - Before 28 Jan

Join a Discovery Session 🌴🌎 🇫🇯

Monday’s at 05:00 PM [LONDON BST] (Register Here)

Monday’s at 12:00 PM [NEW YORK, EST] (Register Here)

Why Volunteer This Summer?

Whether you’re taking a rewarding summer break or looking to enhance your studies, on a Think Pacific project you can;

  • Experience;  Gain hands on service learning or work placement experience.
  • Contribution; Make an impact to sustainable development goals.
  • Challenge; Expand your comfort zone and throw yourself into island life.
  • Learn; Learn a new culture by living the ‘Kaiviti’ lifestyle.
  • Skills; Develop ‘soft skills’ such as teamwork, communication & leadership.
  • Memories; Create memories and friendships that will last a life time.

Team Challenge + Cultural Immersion + Contribution = Huge Personal Growth

Volunteer Testimonials...
Why Choose Think Pacific?
Global Impact with a Local Approach

Learn What Makes Us So Unique…

Only Fiji

All our focus is on Fiji.

Remote & Real

Go where only we can take you.

Teams Only

Teams of up to 25 students.

Fijian Charity

Sustainable development.

Partnership

Support Fijian Government aims.

What's Involved?
With Our 1-Month Community Development Project

Our projects offer you the opportunity to join a traditional village, to become a member of a Fijian family and to work as a team whilst contributing to community development initiatives that support the achievement of the Fiji National Development Plan an d UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Cultural Immersion

Learn the fascinating traditional Fijian culture. The youth within your village will teach you age old traditions such as; ‘Meke’ dancing, ‘Lovo’ underground earth oven cooking and ‘Kava’ drinking with the village Chief.

Build Health Centre

Leave a physical legacy by building a community health centre. Each building has been requested by the Fijian Ministry of Health and provides each village with amenities for their community health worker to conduct medical assessments, stock and administer medications.

Community Activities

Get involved with games, sports or fun activities in your rural Fijian village. Whether you are super sporty or not, this is your opportunity to bond with the community through games of Volleyball, Netball, touch Rugby or any activities you wish to introduce, be it Yoga or Zumba.

The Building Project
Sustainable Development Aims

In Partnership with the Fijian Ministry of Health

Our building development projects make a substantial difference to rural villages. We predominately create nursing stations and heath centres to expand the provision of medical care and increase the capacity of the local nurses and health teams. They are deeply valued and appreciated by local people who must request projects and be involved in each stage of the assessment, building and ongoing maintenance of the project.

Who is a TP Building Project For?

Our building project is great for gaining international experience and expand their global perspectives. You don’t need any prior building experience to join the project, this project is open to all students. You will, however, need a thirst for sustainable development and a desire to implement our project aims.

What’s Involved with a Building Project?

The day-to-day build will be supervised by our qualified Fijian team, who provide lots of support and training but ultimately it is up to the commitment of you and the local community to work together to complete the project in our set time-frame. It’s hugely rewarding to see the project take shape and utilise the building on project with your youth group, after an a huge opening ceremony.

Learn More About the Aims...
Empowering & Sustainable Build Projects...
Think Pacific has been delivering building projects for the Fijian Government Since 2009.

In the past decade, our volunteer teams have complete 70+ building projects. Each project adheres to our highest standards of due diligence, community collaboration, youth training & responsible volunteering.

All building projects are led by the Fijian Ministry of Health, who highlight locations and work in collaboration with rural communities and health workers to plan and evaluate each project. This ensures the project is genuinely needed and can be assessed and monitored at community and national level. Each build contributes to the Fiji National Development Plan and the ‘Towards a Healthy Fiji Islands’ initiative. These Government policies work towards the outcome of creating ‘healthy communities living in healthy environments’.

Alongside our partners at the Fijian Ministry and Fiji National Employment Centre, each building project facilitates training and skills development for Fijian students and unemployed youths. The project is a mechanism to teach basic carpentry skills to unemployed youth and fund spaces for Fijian students to gain work based experience.  The cross-cultural nature of our project introduces Fijians to global understanding and develops their ‘soft skills’ and leadership. Finally, we highlight unemployed youth for further training and apprenticeships within our Foundation and other local organisatons.

Watch our Building Video...

Co Founder, Harry Hunter, shares with you the aims and outcomes of our building projects…

Hear From Our Partners in Fiji...

We aim to be the epitome of purposeful, responsible and empowering volunteer and experiential learning programmes. Central to this is the depth of our association with local communities, government departments and organisations within Fiji, which is unique and unrivalled.

Every programme is planned in collaboration and at the request of rural communities and directed and monitored by The Fijian Ministries to ensure our volunteering has real purpose and long term sustainability.  We are respected for working within the framework of the government, adding benefit to long term strategies and the advancement of education, access and opportunity for youths and children living in rural areas. This includes driving forward the aims of Fiji’s National Development Plan and being a key facilitator of the Ministry of Health’s ‘Towards a Healthy Fiji Islands Initiative’.

We work alongside many by leading international universities and hold many partnerships to support the formal delivery of global mobility. Through our structured projects, we guide hundreds of students annually who develop leadership, transferable skills and expand their cultural understanding, whilst contributing to the aims and initiatives of our Fijian partners.

The Fiji National Development Plan - 'Transforming Fiji'
The Government Policy & Strategy Directing Our Projects…

The 20-Year Development Plan provides the forward-looking vision for “Transforming Fiji” towards an even more progressive, vibrant and inclusive society. It outlines a framework that encompasses strategic policy manoeuvres, new approaches to development and the aspirations of all Fijians.

Click here to learn more about the Fiji’s National Development Plan

Your Learning Journey & Leadership Development...

Leadership Development of International Volunteers

Our aim is for every student to complete their project with a set of experiences, personal attributes and transferable skills, which can positively impact their future education, career ambitions and transition to life beyond study.

TP volunteers will be expected to undertake leadership activities in a challenging and changing environment, which means they can achieve the following learning outcomes;

Global Leadership Abilities

Able to communicate Think Pacific outcomes, goals and vision

Displays global Intelligence & empathy with open mind

Ability to lead activities & others without authority

Social & Cultural Awareness

Build relationships with Fijian community members

Adapt to Fijian culture with passion & empathy

Approaches new settings with emotional intelligence

Effective Communicator

Can language personal and team reflections

Can speak effectively to a group

Can communicate with individuals from different backgrounds

Self-Awareness

Has an understanding of own leadership style/s

Is open to feedback and open to change

Curious attitude and continual learner

Resilience

Ability to persist during within challenging environment

Motivates others through consistency

Persistently displays determination to achieve end goal

Critical Thinker

Decisive in new environments

Drives innovations and ideas

Takes initiative to implement ideas

Collaboration & Team work

Positive member of Think Pacific volunteer team

Can collaborate with Fijian Youth & Community members

Celebrating 'Kaiviti' Culture
Cultural Exchange & Community Development

Arriving into your Fijian village is the most exciting day of the expedition. Unique to Think Pacific is that each team visits a different community to complete the project objectives. The communities are so incredibly excited for your arrival that the entire village will gather to greet you and welcome you into their traditional village. By the time you depart from your project, you will feel like you have a second home at this tiny community.

Immerse yourself into every aspect of Fijian life and see the country through the eyes of the local people. Visit places only possible with Think Pacific. Being invited into rural communities by village Chief’s is our biggest privilege and something we are incredibly proud of. We require you to throw yourself wholeheartedly into Fijian customs, culture, values and traditions and if you do, you’ll gain so much in return and make so many amazing friends.

Ceremonies

Understand the origins and modern day cultural importance of traditional practices such as the Yaqona ceremony

Dance and Art

Learn the history, nuance and symbolism of local art and storytelling such as the Make dance.

Traditional Skills

Learn from traditional knowledge systems and age old skills, still practiced today as they were a century ago

Vanua

Understand the importance of traditional land and how communities foster sustainable practices

Homestay

Authentic experiences, unique memories and genuine understanding through living with families and immersing into daily life

Community Structure

Learn how chiefly structures, clans and hierarchy fosters traditional identities, roles and responsibilities within a community.

Learn More About Fijian Life...
Village Life Video...

Hear our Fijian staff talk about life in a Fijian village.

What to Expect from Your Village...
Life as a South Pacific Islander…
‘Kaiviti Lifestyle’

Fijian life is incredibly communal and friendly. The entire village live and work together. Fijians farm together, maintaining crop plantations which feed the whole village. They fish together, later dividing their catch, and families will all come together in the evenings to play cards, strum the guitar, chat and dance the night away as they drink Kava.

Accommodation

The villages are all relatively small and close knit communities with usually around 20-50 or so families. During the project, you will stay with your own Fijian family in the village. The Fijian families will treat you as one of their own. If you are lucky, you may also live with a family who has children and your little Fijian brothers and sisters are always so intrigued and incredibly excited by the arrival of visitors from afar! Conditions are basic; expect cold bucket showers, pit toilets and limited electricity.

Fijian Food

You will eat with your Fijian family, who provide all of your meals in the community. Think Pacific fund any costs of this food so our teams pose absolutely no burden on the local resources. You may often find many different people at your home for lunch and dinner – in Fiji it is custom to invite anyone who is passing into the home to eat. Food is very carbohydrate heavy, so expect lots of root crops such as dalo and cassava, and also lots of fish, as this makes up the bulk of a typical Fijian diet.

Culture Shock

Trust us when we say that there really is nothing like a Fijian village! However, the comparatively basic standard of living, the communal nature, the strong religious beliefs and the traditional customs and values in the village, may take time to adjust to. It is completely normal to feel a little out of your depth in the first few days. With the support of your Fijian family, your team and our leaders, we find it doesn’t take long to adjust to life in the South Pacific

Fijian Language

The majority of Fijians speak both Fijian and English. There may be some language barriers with pronunciation, but as long as you talk slowly and clearly in English there is little difficulty in understanding each other. Young children and some elderly members of the community may not speak any English at all and it’s great to learn a few Fijian words as early as you can.

‘Fiji Time’

‘Fiji time’ is something you will soon be accustomed to – and it has the ability to change everything. South Pacific Islanders take everything at their own unique, mystifying and incredibly slow pace. This can sometimes seem frustrating, but don’t let it get to you; its better to smile and take any changes in your stride and welcome this beautiful, relaxed and refreshing way of life!

Village Tour of Buliya...

Follow the village headman (Turaga ni Koro), as he gives you a guided tour of Buliya, Kadavu.

Lulu talks about Fijian Culture...

Hear from one of our Fijian Project Manager’s, on Fijian culture…

Community Testimonials...

Hear from villagers talking about their experience with Think Pacific volunteers.

Your Fijian Journey
An Expedition of Adventure, Culture & Ethics...
1 Month Expedition Overview
How It All Comes Together...
1. Bula, Welcome to Fiji!

Forget about the day job or the stress of exams by arriving in the exotic South Seas. You will land at Nadi Airport and be met by your Expedition Leaders for the first time.

2. Beach Resort Briefing

Every expedition starts with an all inclusive 6 day briefing at a beautiful tropical beach resort. This is time for you to get to know your team mates, acclimatise, prepare for life in the village and meet our Fijian partners.

3. Journey to Remote Fiji

Leaving your briefing paradise, we travel to your remote traditional Fijian community. Depending on your village, this could be a truck to deep jungle or ferry to an outer island.

4. Join a Fijian Village

Arriving into your Fijian village is an exciting and nervous moment! Every door is open in a Fijian community and the generosity and genuine excitement of the local people is profound. By the end of the project our volunteers feel as though they are leaving a second home in the South Pacific.

5. Kaiviti Life

Some of your greatest experiences will be the simple activities of daily Fijian life; learning how to weave palm leaves, cooking Fijian food in underground earth ovens, drinking ceremonial Kava with the chief, husking coconuts or fishing ‘Fiji-style’.

6. The Volunteer Project

We focus on the construction of the health clinic, followed by either some cultural activities or community activities in the afternoon. The days are rewarding and incredibly busy!

7. Adventures

Live at the heart of some of the most rural communities and immerse yourself into local village life, where everyday is an adventure. If you’re looking for the ultimate adventure then Fiji is waiting to be explored…

8. Leaving Your 2nd Home

Leaving your Fijian village is an emotional experience; such are the close bonds that are formed between our volunteers and the local community. Farewell dinners, tearful goodbyes and the pride in your achievements will sum up your final days.

9. Rest & Relaxation

We finish the project by enjoying time relaxing at a beautiful beach resort for 4 days. We ask for your all-important feedback as we reflect on the project and celebrate your achievements with a farewell dinner.

1-Month Project Costs
How Much Does a 1-Month Expedition Cost?

We pride ourselves on the delivery of a safe, structured and personally supported experience.

Your expedition fee includes your food, accommodation, in-country travel, resort briefings, R&R, weekend activities, emergency support and your expedition leader team living alongside you 24/7. Expeditions also fund the work of the Think Pacific Foundation (Fijian charity FJ 989) enabling us to support thousands of youths annually to ensure sustainability of the aims.

£195 Registration Fee

This secures your place in the team and gives you access to our Global Skills Programme, an online course to give you the foundations of success before departing for Fiji. It also provides personal support from your project co-ordinator, full access to our pre-departure resources, live online preparation webinars and your expedition t-shirt. Your registration fee is additional to your project fees.

University Scholarships

Students can apply for scholarships and bursaries to join our projects in Fiji.

To find out if there’s funding available at your university or in your area, download our funding guide. (Coming soon)

£1,500 Project Fees

Our philosophy is to provide a high quality and exceptionally well structured volunteer project. Our expeditions are packed full of adventure and cultural insight, whilst having safety and support at their core. Click ‘What’s Included’ below to learn more.

Travel Costs

Your travel costs are not included in the project fees. We support you every step of the way to book return flights, personal travel insurance and we process your visa when in Fiji. Please see the approximate costs below within ‘ What’s Not Included’.

Cost Breakdown
See Cost Breakdown
See the Details...
University Funding & Scholarship Information

Think Pacific works in partnership with many universities across the world to support student mobility and employability. There are scholarships and grants available for students from individual university departments and/or governments in several countries.

Students can apply for scholarships and bursaries to join our projects in Fiji. To find out if there’s funding available at your university or in your areas, click here to download our funding guide. (Guide coming soon)

If you have any questions about funding prior to our funding guide being launched, please email info@thinkpacific.com.

What's Included

Our philosophy is to provide a high quality and exceptionally well structured volunteer project. Our expeditions are packed full of adventure and cultural insight, whilst having safety and support at their core. We also ensure that through our charity, the communities you support receive long-term financial and physical assistance year-round. Think Pacific is not the cheapest volunteer organisation around, but this is for all the right reasons.

All our expeditions include:

  • Airport welcome by Think Pacific Expedition leaders (or resort meet and greet if you arrive early).
  • All in-country expedition travel
  • All project accommodation
  • All-inclusive briefing and orientation from a beautiful beach resort.
  • All meals during your briefing, all meals for 3 and a half weeks staying with your Fijian village family and breakfast and evening meals during your final days of R&R at glorious beach resorts.
  • Guided weekend activities which means you can explore your remote location through treks and attend community events.
  • Organised evening Fijian activities including kava ceremonies, lovo feasts, mat weaving,
  • Think Pacific Leaders and Fijian Matanivanua guides living with you 24/7.
  • In-country Director, Fiji based Project Managers and UK team providing planning, risk assessment and 24-hour back up support.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information & personal volunteer project planning.
  • Fiji expedition de-brief at a beach resort or castaway islands.
  • Your project donation towards the youth development goals in Fiji (which is used to purchase educational and sports equipment, fund scholarships and training for local people and build village facilities and school classrooms).
What's Not Included
  • International flights – £800 – £1100
  • Personal travel insurance £60-£100
  • Visa -£60

Apply for university funding to cover flights, insurance and visa.

Pre-Departure Support
  • Access to the Volunteer Portal.

This portal provides the step-by-step process to prepare for Fiji, including fundraising information, flight information, kit list, visa, cultural preparation. Student can watch videos with our team in Fiji and download document.

  • Contact our team.

You can contact our team anytime between office hours, either give us a  call on 0113 335 9919 or email; info@thinkpacific.com.

  • Online community/network. 

You can communicate with fellow volunteers, alumni and our team through our online community, hosted on the Might Network app. Within 3 months of you departing to Fiji, you shall be entered into a private group with your volunteer team.

  • Live Pre Departure webinars

Our team host live sessions in the months leading up to your expedition. These are a great way for you to ask questions and delve deeper into planning for your project. They also add to the excitement!

  • Global Skills Programme

We have created an online course to give you the set you up for success before departing for Fiji! Complete short-courses in: Fijian Culture, Sustainable Development & Global Leadership.

Project Itinerary Overview
  • Briefing (6 days) = Fijian resort.
  • Project aims (18 days) = Traditional Fijian village.
  • Rest & reflection = (4 days) = Fijian resort.

2022 Project Dates 👇🇫🇯

25 May – 22 June

15 June – 13 July

29 June –  27 July

20 July – 17 Aug

2nd Aug – 30 Aug

 

Volunteer Stories
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Ben Thompson
Alex Sherred
Sacha Ogosi
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In Partnership With...