This summer, students from the University of Bristol joined Think Pacific on a variety of community development projects in remote villages 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.
We caught up with Sophie Anderson, Jennie Russel and Jesse Ng about their time in Fiji and what they gained from the experience.
Global Mobility and the Turing Scheme
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 University of Bristol 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.
Sophie Anderson’s Story
Sophie shares her experience of Fiji in the video below, highlighting the impact it has had on her and how it has changed her priorities.
Jennie’s Experience in Fiji
In the video interview below, Jennie shares her first-hand experiences of life in Fiji, why she decided to join a Think Pacific project, and what she gained from the experience.
Jesse Ng Reflects on Her Time in Fiji
“While Fiji is a beautiful destination on many traveller’s bucket lists, it has been accompanied by rising inequality, which is reflected in the increased percentage of Fijians living in poverty.
Think Pacific is a non-profit charity that aims to improve the quality of life and minimise the deprivation faced by many Fijian communities. I had the privilege of volunteering with Think Pacific in the village of Rokovuaka, where a wonderful Fijian family hosted me.
During my time in the village, my team and I delivered educational workshops and activities aimed at empowering the Fijian youths.
This was achieved through uplifting their personal development by encouraging positive mental and physical health. Furthermore, there were sessions on business enterprise, which aimed to inspire the youth with their business ideas which could potentially be implemented in the local village.
Aside from these workshops, I also participated in cultural sessions which enriched my understanding of the unique Fijian customs and etiquette. I learned how to weave from palm leaves, performed a traditional meke dance, and enjoyed many kava sessions in the village.
I am so grateful to my host family for welcoming me into their home and showing me their way of life and Think Pacific for providing me with this invaluable opportunity.
Want to learn more about our projects in Fiji?
Watch the video below or click here to explore our programmes.