WHY we need you in Fiji
HOW can you help?
WHAT you can do?
Why Involvement Volunteers International?
PROJECT NAME: NUTRITION & PUBLIC HEALTH
LOCATION: NADI, LAUTOKA & MANAMANUCA ISLANDS
START DATES: 18th June, 33th July 2023, 7th Jan 2024
ACCOMMODATION: HOMESTAY OR RESORT (Depending on time of year)
MIN DURATION: 2 WEEKS
MIN AGE: 16+
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: MEDICAL, NUTRITION & HEALTH STUDENTS OR QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS
According to a study in 2013, almost 1 in 3 Fijian’s is now diabetic and now has the highest death rate from diabetes in the whole world. Obesity is a serious issue for island communities due to a lack of public health education in the face of cheap imported high carbohydrate and fatty foods. There is also a huge increase in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as a result of poor diet, in particular diabetes and heart disease.
Obesity and diabetes are placing a huge social, economical and emotional load on Fijian society. Currently, 1 in 3 Fijians are found to have elevated blood sugar, and this is primarily attributed by the excessive consumption of simple carbohydrates like white rice, refined flour and cassava (a local root crop with very high Glycemic Index).
IVI’s nutrition and dietetics programs generally cater to recent graduates with nutrition, dietetics or natural health backgrounds seeking valuable work experience in Fiji.
Working alongside a qualified practitioner, the aim of the outreach project is health promotion & free assessments in villages, corporate businesses, schools & community centres to increase the knowledge about nutrition and the effect of physical activity in the prevention of obesity and development of NCD’s.
In addition to various communes and villages, we work with several resorts in/around Nadi, Denerau & the Manamanuca Islands. In teams of 4 to 8, you will perform health checks adding to the data captured from previous intakes and provide encouragement to reach health goals. You may also be involved in preparing educational talks on various topics such as the dangers of sugar and other disease causing issues.
Take part in an outreach program designed to empower Fijians to make informed decisions about their heath. You may have the opportunity to conduct health screenings like blood pressure checks, blood glucose level tests and waist to hip ratios measurement.
With support and assistance from the program coordinators, you will be assigned specific health cases and may be involved with but not limited to:
– Conducting individual and group consultations
– Remote island healthcare education
– Corporate health
– Children’s health & education
– Identifying protein deficiency among school kids
– Assisting in the prescription of natural protocols
– Providing educational assistance and local talks (if desired)
– Helping build nutrition and diabetes awareness campaigns
– Designing fitness and exercise programs
– Village exercise programs
– General healthy living programs.
This is a varied program in which volunteers should be willing to ‘go with the flow’ as things operate at a slower pace in Fiji than what many are used to in their home countries.
Nadi is the main tourist hub with lots of back-packers places and night life. It’s also well known for for Denerau Marina where many large 5 star resorts are and western style shopping. Denerau is the gateway to the Fiji islands, which is the most popular choice for most holiday goers’ to Fiji. We’ll likely take you here and show you around as part of the orientation or if you’re heading out to the remote island teaching placement.
Lautoka, located 20 min north of Nadi, is a lovely and safe working class harbour city with many areas to explore (eg. hiking trails, mud pools etc). You will be spending time in the working class areas where the genuine needs exist.
- Conduct health checks, alongside local professionals
- Educate the local community on diabetes, general healthy nutrition choices and exercise
- Create nutrition campaigns and exercise programs
- Work in health care clinics, alongside local professionals or on our outreach program within communities
Food & Accommodation
Enjoy living like a Fiji local. You’ll have your own single or twin share room within private, clean and safe western style homes. You will have a place to store your personal belongings, a private bathroom and toilet (where possible – not all placements include this), a fan and single mattress or double/queen if sharing with your partner. Some home stays have self contained flats separate from the main residence. You can choose this option if desired. Internet is usually not included with most volunteers purchasing a temporary 3G plan for their own device.
Alternatively, when working on the resorts, you may be provided a resort room depending on the time of year!
Meals are included and served at the host family for breakfast and dinner with lunch on site. A typical day may consist of (subject to variation):
Breakfast – cereal, bread, butter etc, tea, coffee, milo. Volunteers can make their own eggs should they wish.
Lunch – Volunteers to prepare their own sandwich. Tuna, cold meat, salad, eggs. Some prefer to take left over dinner from the night before for lunch.
Dinner – Cooked meal (eg. stews, soups, curries, fish, roast vegetables, taro, sweet potato, bread, rice etc.
- Nutrition & Public Health Outreach
- Medical Hospital Internship
1 Week - $995
2 Weeks - $1250
3 Weeks - $1410
1 Month - $1570
2 Months - $2233
3 Months - $2880
1 Day Orientation
24/7 In-Country Support
Project Materials & Equipment
Pre-departure Expert Advice
Preperation Tools & Checklists
Certificate of Completion
If you are a qualified professional, your help will be of great advantage here and you will be able to use your initiative, knowledge and skills to really benefit the local community.
For students studying health, nutrition or a related field, this could be an excellent opportunity for you to gain first hand skills, practice what you are learning and gain a greater insight into overseas health practices, all under the guidence of a qualified practitioner.
This project can be quite challenging but the rewards much greater!
- Accommodation (Home Stays and/or Resort Rooms – Sharing with other volunteers)
- 3 meals p/day (breakfast, lunch & dinner)
- Return airport transfers from Nadi
- In-country qualified healthcare practitioner coordinator
- Full day orientation & training + cultural sightseeing
- All ground transportation
- In country 24/7 coordination & emergency assistance
- Fundraising support
- University course credits (where applicable)
- Certificate of Completion
- Travel Insurance
- Tours, Souvenirs & spending money
Orientation starts on Monday and includes a tour of the local area and an overview of the project including any necessary permits, paperwork and logistics. In most cases you will have 1 to 2 days to ease your way into the culture and settle into your new surrounds before commencing the program.
During orientation we’ll review previous data from past intakes and practice health checks and related preparations.
Arrival and departure airport transfers are included in the cost of your volunteer program for a pick-up from Nadi to the Nadi / Lautoka areas.
As a structured outreach placement, transportation to/from project locations (including island locations) is included in the cost. This will normally be via hire care / van with a dedicated driver.
Each day can vary depending on the location and time of year, but generally involves planning and implementing healthcare assessments in the local community. Some of the work you will be doing will be dependent on your prior skill level and qualifications. Our goal is to offer you the opportunity to gain hands on experience in the field while helping the local community.
Weekends are always free for relaxing or sightseeing of your choice. Our ground operators will help you organize additional trips with special (non tourist) rates which can be paid directly in local currency.
Volunteers based in Nadi & Lautoka can choose from a wide variety of options with Nadi being the main tourist hub for Fiji and the Fijian Islands.
Volunteers based in the Coral Coast can spend the weekends exploring Suva, visiting Colo-I-Suva or Mosquito Island and searching the craft and produce markets in Suva’s town centre. From Pacific Harbour you can organize activities, such as kayaking, white-water rafting, shark feeding, jet ski tours, zip lining and diving.
This prject is for students studying in the discipline of health science, physiotherapy & related fields and qualified nurses, therapists, nutritionists, naturopaths, dietitians & allied health professionals. A qualified practitioner will be available to support and guide you during the program. Volunteers without qualifications in this field are still encouraged to apply and depending on your desire and experience, you may be accepted into the program.
Fiji is an archipelago of 333 tropical islands. It’s one of the most developed Pacific Island economies however, a chronic lack in investment and under-employment pose obstacles to sustainable and equitable economic growth in Fiji.
More than 250,000 people in the Fiji islands live in poverty and many more Fijians live on or just above the poverty line. Efficient delivery in health care, in education, in work opportunities and other social services are incredibly difficult in Fiji.
A great disparity exists between the working class communities and the multi-national owned tourism resorts which represent approx 25% of Fiji’s Gross domestic product. Sadly, much of the wealth generated from this sector does not filter down to the local communities.
IVI have a well established program in Fiji build by local Fijian’s with in depth understanding of the local needs. We have a have a variety of skilled and non skilled volunteering options for anyone seeking to live like a local far away from the trendy monotonous tourist resorts.
Fiji enjoys a hot and humid climate year round. Average temperatures range from 25°C to 33°C.
May to October is considered one of the best time to visit, as it’s the dry season. The wet season is from November to April. The island will recieve heavy rain, but in short outbursts. In July and August, temperatures can fall to as low as 18°C, making it a pleasent time to visit for those who enjoy cooler weather!
The Fijian people have a strong sense of their own culture and customs and highly developed sense of honor. The locals are generally very friendly and welcoming. Within Fijian villages, tribal alliances are still intact and money does not play a significant role in their daily lives. Visitors are not always accustomed to the slow work pace (they call it “Fiji time”). Do not worry too much about this, just go with the flow!
33 Years Non Profit Experience
IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.
Affordable Volunteer Travel
We’re not motivated by shareholder profits. Our fees are fully transparent to ensure maximum benefit where it is most needed.
Safe & Responsible Projects
All projects include a dedicated 24/7 in-country management team, operational & risk assessment & overseas support contact. All projects are personally inspected to ensure very high quality.
Work Experience & University Credits
We place thousands of Uni students and can assist you with course credits and in-field experience points. Many of our project coordinators are qualified practitioners in their respective fields allowing unique in-field supervision and Uni accreditation options
Check out this amazing blog with step by step info on how to raise funds for your overseas volunteer experience to help maximize your impact abroad. Guide to Fundraising