Remote Island Teaching in Fiji Project
Home Stay Placement | Teaching, Rural Community Care & Development, Healthcare, Island volunteering
All year round (Alternative Island program during public school holidays in April, August, November, December)
Manamanuca Island range
Teaching in Fiji – Background Information
This is an incredible and life changing placement where you can experience in depth the authentic Fijian Island way of living. After presentation of your offering (Kava ceremony) you will be welcomed into the community to live as an honoured guest.
This island paradise has extensive views over fringing coral reefs and green-blue tropical seas. It’s a medium sized island (approx 10km in diameter) with cliffs and rolling hills for amazing hikes with views out to surrounding islands where for island hopping or snorkelling. With approx 800 native Fijian inhabitants (some of whom have never seen a car!) Many inhabitant’s work on the local tourist islands. The village’s main source of incomes is handicrafts, pottery and shells, with the local people otherwise relying on subsistence farming and fishing.
The placement is centred around the local public school where approx 100 students from kindergarten through to grade 6 come to learn each day. The school receives very minimal government funding and there are substantial needs in all areas of educational assistance, school resources, community development, infrastructure and vocational support.
The volunteers tasks are varied and acceptance into the program will be based on individual applications. Volunteers will need to be self sufficient and competent enough to see areas of opportunity and to assist as appropriate. This is a challenging and raw experience where you can truly make a positive impact and likely gain an appreciation for the simple things in life.
Included in the cost is an arrival airport transfer from Nadi airport to the marina if heading to the islands directly. In most cases however, you’ll stay with a home stay in Nadi or Lautoka for 1 or 2 nights before making your way to the island.
We can arrange return transfers to/from the marina for US$50 if booked in advance. Just ask while making the booking. Otherwise you can take a bus or a tax will cost approx US$10-15 from Nadi.
There are 2 ferry trips to/from the island daily departing from Port Denerau each day;
- Departing Ferrys – 9:15am and 3:00pm
- Returning Ferrys – 10:15am and 4:00pm
As a volunteer through IVI, you will obtain a large subsidy on the cost of the Ferrys. Normal (tourist) price is FJ$152 each way. The discounted fare for volunteers is FJD$36 each way. (This is the same rate they provide to the villagers). The IVI country manager will assist you in the necessary paperwork to achieve this rate.
|You will live within the large gated school compound where individual family residences exist for the school staff and their families. You’ll normally be provided your own room or sharing with another volunteer. Bedding is usually a mattress on the floor. It’s clean and comfortable, but no frills. The houses are light and airy right next to the ocean but very basis, with normally a living area, sleeping area, kitchen and adjoining bathroom.
Electricity is a luxury on the island and small solar lamps are used for the evenings. This means, tv’s radio’s, fridges etc are limited. You’ll be able to charge your laptop of mobile device no problem. You’ll also have a safe place to store your belongings.
Please note – Many things that we take for granted in our homes are not available on the island and living conditions are very basic. Borehole water is used for washing and toilets and rainwater is used for cooking and drinking. Toilets are western style and waterseal. They need to be filled with a bucket of water to fill the cisten before flushing.
Fresh fruits and vegetables can be quite scarce on the island so it’s recommended to bring a small offering of rice, flour or long lasting vegetables (ie. cabbage) with you along with some snacks for yourself if desired. You will have plenty to eat, but the variety of options will be less than other home stay placements.
Breakfast would normally consist of tea with homemade pancakes, bread and fruit if available. The pancakes are very similar to donuts and very yummy!
Lunch and dinner would mostly consist of fresh fish, chicken, lamb or tinned food. This placement will be difficult for vegetarians who do not eat fish.
- Local Customs – We will help you source some Yaqona (approx US$15) for “sevusevu”. This is the traditional way of going to the village. Yaqona (Kava) is taken and presented to the village chief to get his blessings for you to stay on the island.
- Medical – A resident nurse and health centre is located on the island. For emergency, helicopters can get to the island and to Lautoka hospital within an hour
- Dress – A dress code will apply mainly to females when in around the villiage. They will need to wear dresses or long skirts or “sulu”
Who can Apply?
Anyone can apply but ideally those with a teaching background or construction skills are strongly desired. This is a ‘raw’ experience with very few luxuries.
It is the responsibility of all participants to obtain any necessary visas. Please note that the Fijian government has recently introduced a volunteer visa which has a cost of $190FJD (approx $100 USD) and carries with it some restrictions (eg. additional paperwork/approval to extend beyond 14 days). This is obtained upon arrival. A standard tourist visa applies for 30 days and is free of charge. It is your choice to advise immigration accordingly.