Koroipita Community Development Construction

WHY we need you in Fiji

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HOW can you help?

WHAT can you do?

Why Involvement Volunteers International?

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  PROJECT NAME: KOROIPITA COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CONSTRUCTION

LOCATION: KOROIPITA, near to LAUTOKA

  START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS) 

  ACCOMMODATION: HOMESTAY

  MIN DURATION: ONE WEEK

  MIN AGE: 16+

  SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: N/A

Overview

On this project we work with a local Charitable Trust, who create solutions to the challenges of poverty, rural-urban drift, and the increasing need to re-settle climate change refugees.

The idea is that local families are offered affordable, cyclone-safe homes within a fully serviced township community. It is mandatory for the children in these communities to go to school, with the residents being encouraged to take environmental and community responsibility.

Koroipita community is currently home to 263 families. With funding support from the New Zealand Aid Programme and Ministry of Housing and Community Development, we are now going to build an additional 105 homes as part of Stage 4 development.

We are in need of volunteers to help complete this program. This is a fantastic project for group bookings (ideally teams of 6-8 people, up to 12). Working as part of a team, you can really see progress in a short amount of time. Individual volunteers are of course also very welcome!

All skill levels are welcome. Teams must be reasonably fit and be prepared for anything. Flexibility is more important than fitness but there is a limit, as there is manual labour involved.

You will be supervised at all times by skilled local builders, so there is no need to worry if you have no experience in construction work.

Safety Gear
You are expected to bring and wear safety boots with a STEEL CAP, to wear at the construction site at all times. Hard hats are provided and there will be a first aid kit available onsite.

Tools
All building tools are provided; however, we encourage you to bring your own hammers (these can be bought once arrived), and you are welcome to leave these behind if you choose to do so. We also welcome donation of tools. Please check with the local team for what is needed.

Transport
We have two trucks available onsite. It can be used to transport volunteers to and from and around the site during the day.

Water
You will need to drink lots of water from the start of the day until sundown. Do not wait until you get thirsty or dehydrated. We practice recycling in the community so please dispose your bottles in designated bins. We also recommend bringing hand sanitiser. There are clean toilets accessible at Koroipita.

Mosquitoes
Koroipita is generally a clean community however, few mosquitoes are visible in the daytime. It will be wise to bring mosquito repellent.

Medical
Lautoka Hospital is not far from the site. The team will have all emergency contacts available onsite. If you are taking any prescription medications, please bring them along with you.
Insurance

Insurance is only covered for local workers; we DO NOT have cover for short-term volunteers. This is something you may want to factor into your insurance.

Security on site
We will assign you a safe lockable storage where you may keep all your personal belongings. It is important to be careful with cameras, wallets and other items while at Koroipita. Inevitably, all kinds of people wander in and out of the site.
Volunteers must be careful with tools and valuables, even at the job area. DO NOT leave valuables on site when going to lunch. The security process for tools and materials will be explained at the briefing.

Security Tips:

  • Bring the cheapest watch you own
  • Avoid bringing a laptop or iPad
  • Do not bring expensive cameras – if you want to bring one take extreme caution.
  • Avoid expensive boots, jackets, backpacks

Booze
You may bring your own liquor, wine, beer or kava. The Northern Club is open every day….but don’t overdo it….there is work to do in the sun.

Gifts
We request volunteers NOT to bring donations or gifts for individual residents. If you want to donate, please talk to our team members who will provide the best guidance. Avoid sharing personal contacts or social media details with community residents.

We have several pool funds which are established to support the neediest families in the community. These are Shelter Fund, Welfare Fund, Education Fund and Health Fund.

Photos
You are welcome to take pictures and share it on social media however, prior consent is needed from individuals, particularly when photographing children. You may also invite local media to cover the story, however, please discuss with our team to ensure the correct information and statistics are published.
We look forward to welcoming your team and greatly appreciate and value your contribution and generosity.

Location

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.

Project Tasks

  • Working together as a team under the guidence of a professional
  • Buildng new houses from scratch
  • Assisting in all areas of the development plan

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.

 

All prices in USD
  • 1 Week - $395
  • 2 Weeks - $555
  • 3 Weeks - $715
  • 1 Month - $895
  • 2 Months - $1545
  • 3 Months - $2195
Home Stays
What's Included
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Airport Pickup
  • Local Transportation
  • 1 Day Orientation
  • 24/7 In-Country Support
  • Project Materials & Equipment
  • Pre-departure Expert Advice
  • Preperation Tools & Checklists
  • Certificate of Completion

Testimonials...

FAQ

If you have a reasonable level of fitness and don’t mind a bit of hard work in the sun, then yes! No experience is required, as you will be supervised at all times, but assistence from qualified builders is greatly welcome. This is an excellent team program, for those who enjoy working with others to achieve an overall goal. 

  • Accommodation  (Home Stays – Sharing with other volunteers)
  • 2 meals p/day (Breakfast & Dinner)
  • Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea daily
  • In country 24/7 coordination & emergency assistance
  • Fundraising support
  • University course credits (where applicable)
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Airfares
  • 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. 

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. 

Typically, our work hours are from 8 am to 4.33 Monday to Friday. We also allow flexibility for work on weekends to accommodate volunteer teams.

On arrival volunteers will meet at the community hall and will go through a compulsory orientation which involves a site tour and power point briefing on the following topics:

  • Project history and relevance
  • Construction briefing
  • Safety briefing
  • Child safeguarding protocols – you will be expected to sign our Child Safe Guarding Code of Conduct.

The above briefing is to avoid any causalities on site and to ensure that we maintain construction and community standards. 

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 extra requirements, other than to bring your own hammer, which can be bought once in Fiji. 

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

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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

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