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WHY we need you in Fiji
HOW can you help?
WHAT can you do?
Why Involvement Volunteers International?
PROJECT NAME: HYDROPONIC GARDENS & FOOD SECURITY
START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS)
MIN DURATION: ONE WEEK
MIN AGE: 16+
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: N/A
PROJECT COSTS: US$350 + APPLICATION FEE
Hydroponic gardening can produce up to 9 times the yield of standard gardening while using 85% less water!
This technology can truly change lives in impoverished communities providing food security and new sources of income.
IVI are donating a state of the art 1000 plant Hydroponic Vertical Farm to an impoverished community in Fiji. We need help from volunteers to set-up and maintain the farm as well as funding to help support micro-business opportunities for the woman of the commune. These communities consist of some of the most vulnerable populations in the region with food security and financial hardship a daily struggle.
The project takes place in a housing commission with 124 flats that are rented out for $5FJD p/week to women and children. Many of the woman sheltering here are escaping domestic violence, or unemployment due to injury, disability, childcare commitments, old age and other social factors. These people are greatly affected by illness, scarcity and depression. The little support provided by the government is quickly spent on food, thus food security is the single biggest issue facing these communities.
The hydroponic gardens provide a low cost, sustainable strategy increasing dietary diversity and the introduction of micro nutrient rich foods. The benefit of hydroponic versus soil based systems is profound, requiring up to 85% less water & producing up to 900% higher yields per square meter of space.
We will help end the cycle of poverty in this region by helping to solve the following issues:
1) Lack of sufficient land for conventional farming
2) Lack of access to the water needed for conventional farming
3) Severe economic hardship & reliance on government funding to provide basic food requirements
4) Lack of access to fresh vegetables and lack of diet variation contributing to malnutrition, obesity and non-communicable disease.
5) Lack of purpose and community connection exacerbating social issues
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.
- Hydroponic system research and development
- Local hydroponic supply sourcing agreements
- Land and water management
- Construction of facility
- Assistance with handling of hydroponic merchandise
- Installation of hydroponic systems
- Training for the local community
- Establishing a product support & maintenance process
- Establishing operational funding agreements
- Establishing a community distribution agreement
- Benefits realization plan and monitoring
- Public relations campaigning
- Local business opportunity coaching and training
- On-going care and maintenance of the facility
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.
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.
Anyone can participate in this program! Individuals with experience in gardening and/or hydroponic gardening are desired as well as volunteers with experience in public relations, business mentor ship and related micro-business related tasks. We also require general laborers who can assist in the many construction related tasks during the set-up and then gardeners to assist on-going.
- Accommodation (Home Stays – Sharing with other volunteers)
- 2 meals p/day (Breakfast & Dinner)
- Arrival Airport transfer to Canggu
- Return transfers from from Canggu to Seraya
- In-country qualified healthcare practitioner coordinator
- ‘Love our earth’ Bali survival kit (what’s in it? It’s a surprise!)
- Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea daily
- Full day orientation & training + cultural sightseeing
- In country 24/7 coordination & emergency assistance
- Fundraising support
- University course credits (where applicable)
- Certificate of Completion
- Travel Insurance
- Tours, Souvenirs & spending money
The Home Stay placements involve a simple and effective orientation which 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 in your designated program.
The Volunteer Center placements also have a 1 day orientation or you can choose to do a dedicated orientation week to get you familiar with the Fijian culture. Orientation is hosted in either Suva or the Coral Coast depending on where you’ve chosen to stay. It begins on the first Monday morning of your volunteer program and includes an Introduction to Fiji, culture and customs, local excursions, cooking and art, rules and expectations, safety, introduction to the project and placement.
For home stay placements, 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.
Transportation to/from your home stay to the placement each day is generally your responsibility, however your home stay family will assist you and ensure you receive local rates for any costs involved. We’ll place you as close as possible to the placement to limit daily travel times. Expect between 5-33 min each way for a small local transport fee (approx $2 p/day). Travelling by bus in Fiji is an experience of it’s own! 🙂
For volunteer center placements, an arrival airport transfer from Nadi to the Coral Coast or Suva is included for pick-ups on Sundays only. If arriving on other days, you’ll need to make your own way to the placement.
If arriving on the Saturday, you’ll need to book an extra nights accommodation in advance at a cost of US$50 p/night including meals. Travel time by bus between Nadi and Suva is approx 3-4 hours, or 2 hours to Coral Coast. Local travel to the projects each day is included it the cost of the program fee.
Work on the project is dependant on your prior skills and which area would be best suited to you. Generally we need volunteer assistance throughout the year in maintaining the farm and helping the commune residents with micro-business opportunities resulting from the farm produce and other ventures.
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.
- No special requirements for this 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