Building Volunteer Expedition
- Government partnered project (directed by Fijian Ministry of Health)
- No experience needed – only desire to learn building skills and work with skilled local carpenters
- Entire building from foundations to completion (community centre, school classroom or health clinic)
- Homestay – live with Fijian families and immerse into Fijian culture
- Develop your leadership, teamwork, communication skills & employability
- Make life-long friends & challenge yourself on a real adventure
- Build a tangible, lasting difference to the lives of local people
- Weekend excursions to explore your rural surroundings e.g. jungle treks
- Project fees include food, accommodation, building materials, 24/7 in country support, domestic travel, weekend excursions, charity donation.
- Expedition costs from £1295 for 1 month in rural & remote Fiji
Join 20 Volunteers for a unique 5 week building expedition to the heart of a remote outer island of Fiji.
Our building development projects make a phenomenal difference to rural villages. They are deeply valued and appreciated by local people,who request projects many years in advance. They also provide an incredible cultural experience for volunteers as students live with families and immerse into Fijian life in some of the most beautiful islands of Fiji.
We achieve the entire building project, from foundations to completion, during a single expedition. You see the entire development and work together with the community to provide this legacy. Projects address real need across rural areas and include building school classrooms, village community centres and health clinics.
Our building Projects are led by our Registered Fijian Charity, The Think Pacific Foundation – Charity Number FJ 989 – and in Partnership with The Fijian Ministry of Health, ensuring the projects are ethical, sustainable and integral to national policies.
Our aim is for every volunteer to complete their project with a set of experiences, personal attributes and transferable skills, which can positively impact their future endeavours, career ambitions and transition back to everyday life.
- Team Work
- Time Management
- Global Awareness
When Harry talked to me on the phone nearly a year and a half ago he told me:
“There is nothing quite like a Fijian village”. I thought this was just another
typical gap year slogan, but I was more wrong than I’ve ever been in my life.
There IS NOTHING like a Fijian village.
Adjusting to the culture and slower pace of life was a struggle at first but now its hard to imagine leaving this life. In Fiji doors are always open to visitors, love and kindness radiates from everyone and a genuine concern for other people is always there, the Fijian way of life is truly unique and it is a privilege to experience it as part of this beautiful community.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who comes away saying Think Pacific changed my perspective on life. Challenging and thoroughly rewarding. I’ve learned more than I ever imagined.
You don’t need to have any prior building experience to join the projects.
A Think Pacific project is open to all students, gap year students and
young career breakers. You will learn new building skills during training
briefings and then put these skills into action, oversee by our expert
team. You will need to work hard, work well as a team and have the
desire for a real and meaningful cultural adventure.
Each day you will work in small groups in the morning and afternoon and build for approximately 5- 6 hours a day. The day-to-day build will be supervised by our qualified Fijian building managers and supported by our expedition leaders, but ultimately it is up to the commitment of you and the local community to work together to complete the building project in our set time-frame. From digging foundations to carpentry work to sanding and painting, you will gain skills in building work and local Fijian techniques.
Building projects take place in the beautiful outlying islands of Fiji in an
area called The Lomaiviti. We take motor boats out to see the real Fiji
and become a member of these tiny South Sea Islands. The villages are
usually less than 30 families, set by the sea and lagoons. From spear
fishing and farming in the jungle plantations to cooking in underground
earth ovens and weaving palm leaves, you will learn all about the
traditional way of life of South Pacific Island communities.
Forget about course work 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.
Every expedition starts with an all inclusive 3 day briefing at a beautiful tropical beach resort. This is time for you to get to know your team mates and wind down into ‘Fiji time’
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.
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
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’.
You will work as a team under the direction of our Fijian building manager, architects and the local villagers to complete the aims in the set timeframe. You will help to dig foundations, cut timber, erect walls, clear jungle paths, paint and much more. Whatever your level of strength or building skill, there is a role you can assist with!
Explore your incredible surroundings as we organise guided excursion days. Which depending on your locations could be treks, waterfall visits or beach days.
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.
We finish the project by enjoying our final few days relaxing at Fiji’s glorious beach resorts. Top up your South Pacific tan by the swimming pool, head out snorkelling or go island trekking. During the ‘R&R days’ we ask for your all-important feedback during a final de-brief as we review the project in detail.
7am- Wake Up & Breakfast with Your Family
7.30am – Health Clinic
8am – Team Briefing with Team Leaders
9am – Building Volunteering
10.30am – Break
10.45am – Building Volunteering
12pm – Lunch
1pm – Building Volunteering
3.30pm – Team Debrief
4pm – Optional Team Sports with Children & Villagers
6.30pm – Dinner with Your Fijian Family
7.30pm – Cultural Team Evening Activities
Building Project Costs
This secures your place in the team, provides personal support from your project manager, full access to our pre-departure resources and your expedition t-shirt. Your registration fee is additional to your project fundraising.
Over 1/3 of your fee pays for the materials and associated costs for the building project that you
complete. In addition, our charity provides long term support to children within the community,
improving education and access to health care, sport and extra-curricular activities.
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 schools and 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 excursions such as rainforest treks, waterfall visits or island and snorkelling trips.
- Organised evening Fijian activities including kava cerem onies, 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 selection of beach resorts or castaway islands.
- Your fundraising directly pays for the materials and associated costs for the building project that you complete. In addition, our charity provides long term support to children within the community, improving education and access to health care, sport and extra-curricular activities.
- International flights
- Spending money (budget £150 for 1 Month)
7th April – 3rd June 2019 – 2 Spaces Remaining
25th July – 22nd August 2019 – 2 Spaces Remaining
29th March – 24th May 2020 – (Includes Teaching & Sports)
18th July – 15th August 2020
21st July – 18th August 2020
We only do team expeditions. Join a team of up to 20 like-minded students and instantly become part of a new group of friends as you share something special together. The bonds you make will last a life-time.
Volunteering on your summer break is one of the most purposeful and rewarding things you can do. Our expeditions are partnered with the Fijian Government which means you are supporting national aims and objectives.
Our programs are certainly no holiday. It’s a real challenge. It’s been said that life begins at the edge our comfort zone. You’ll come home with more confidence, new leadership skills and a greater global understanding.
Live at the heart of traditional villages, trek jungle rainforests, visit remote waterfalls, snorkel the reefs or set sail for the outer islands. If you’re looking for adventure on your university summer, then Fiji ticks all the boxes and more. The South Pacific is mesmerising and it is waiting to be explored.
Our expeditions are guided with 24/7 care and dedication. Fiji is all we know and love. From our experienced leaders who guide your project each day to our management team in Fiji and the UK, you’ll receive unrivalled support, knowledge and expertise from start to finish.
So many of our volunteers state their experiences in Fiji are ‘life changing’ and they meet fellow students that they’ll stay in touch with forever. You’ll broaden your horizons and forever be proud that you accomplished something so remarkable. You’ll return with some of the most unique memories of your university life.