WHY we need you in Fiji
HOW can you help?
WHAT can you do?
Why Involvement Volunteers International?
PROJECT NAME: ORPHANAGE FIJI
LOCATION: NADI & LAUTOKA
START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS)
MIN DURATION: ONE WEEK
MIN AGE: 16+
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: N/A
* Please be aware, this project only runs in school term times. The dates for 2023 are as follows:
Term 1: 6th February – 5th May
Term 2: 22nd May – 25th August
Term 3: 11th September – 8th December
IVI’s orphanage volunteer Fiji program allows for suitable applicants an opportunity to assist in the care for orphaned children ranging from new-born up to 20 years of age awaiting adoption. Volunteers serve as a supplement to the existing long term care provided to the children through a credible orphanage.
The orphanage is a home established for over 13 years with a strong local presence for serving the community and providing love, care and support to orphaned children of all ages.
The home was set up particularly for young children that were abandoned or disabled. The orphanage holds up to 25 children in total. Some are children who have been abandoned at birth, usually by young single mums and some are disabled. The Orphanage does however, also look after children who have needed to be taken from their parents by the Department of Social Welfare.
The orphanage receives support from local and international networks some (small) government assistance. The orphanage staff are friendly, caring and receive a very small wage. Volunteers are supervised by the staff and will be involved all the activities necessary in caring for orphaned children and maintaining the household.
Upon arrival, all volunteers will be given an orientation to the home, and be introduced to the staff and the children. Volunteers are able to assist the permanent staff in caring for the children’s needs. A House Mother who will be in charge each shift, and the other Nana’s who provide direct care to the children.
Volunteers with special skills (e.g. teacher, special education, physiotherapist, occupational therapist) can advise staff of their qualifications and skills and may be able to provide support in line with their field of specialty as needed. Other volunteers can assist with such things as administration, cooking, laundry, assisting school children with homework, and engaging in play time / activities with the children.
As it is important for the children to experience consistency, direct care of the children (e.g. bathing and changing diapers) is to be done by permanent staff and not volunteers.
Responsible Orphanage Volunteer Care
Orphaned children need to form secure attachments to regular carers. Evidence shows that children who grow up in institutional care live with a deep sense of abandonment which in some cases can be exacerbated by short term interaction with volunteer workers.
This centre focuses on attachment of orphans only to long term dedicated carers. Of course, it is only natural that children will form strong bonds with volunteers who show them love, care and attention. This bond may include the false hope of adoption in some cases, hence interaction with short term volunteers is carefully managed to ensure the psychological effects of over-attachment are not detrimental.
The orphanages in Fiji are inspirational places full of life, love, color and happiness with a strong social presence and acute understanding of the needs of children and necessary governance and support.
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.
- Assist local staff in the supervision and care of children in the home
- To create fun activites, play with the children, help with lunch time and homework
- Help with the general running of the home such as administration, cleaning and washing
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.
*Remote Island Teaching
*Remote Island Construction
- Woman & Children’s Commune
- Orphanage Childcare
- Special Needs School
- Animal Shelter
- Disaster Mngt & First Aid
- Koroipita Construction
- 1 Week - $395
- 2 Weeks - $555
- 3 Weeks - $715
- 1 Month - $895
- 2 Months - $1545
- 3 Months - $2195
- 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
Prior experience with children is desired and volunteers must be prepared to respect the prayer sessions. Anyone with a caring nature and a desire to care for those less fortuanate is welcome, as well as those who have great energy and a creative mind!
- Accommodation (Home Stays – Sharing with other volunteers)
- 2 meals p/day (Breakfast & Dinner)
- 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.
There is a daily schedule in place which is for all of the children to follow, in order to create structure and allow the children to learn discipline and time-management. The daily schedule is as follows:
Babies & Toddlers
5:00 – 6:00 Wake up & Breakfast
7:33 – 8:00 Devotion
8:00 – 9:00 Activities
9:00 – 9:33 Snack time
10:00 – 11:00 Free time
12:00 – 2:00 Nap time
2:00 Snack time
2:00 – 3:00 Outside activities
4:00 Bath time
4:00 – 5:00 Free time
8:00 – 8:33pm Brush teeth & feet
9:00 Sleep (LIGHTS OFF)
5:00 – 6:00 Wake up & Breakfast
7:15 Leave for school
8:00 – 3:00 School
3:00 – 5:00 Homework, chores and then free time
8:00 – 8:33pm Brush teeth & feet
9:00 Sleep (LIGHTS OFF)
There are no set days or hours of work expected of volunteers. The hours a volunteers works will depend upon the schedule of the children and the availability of the volunteer. During the school term the majority of the children will be at school until 3pm. Volunteers wishing to assist with administration, laundry, cooking, and care of the babies and toddlers can do so during school hours. After school, volunteers can assist the older children with homework and engage with them in other play activities or planned outings.
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.
For any Volunteer to be approved for any Orphanage, they need to provide the following 33 days prior to placement;
1. Passport Page Detail
2. Vaccination Card
3. Police Clearance
4. CV detailing experience working with Children or Orphanages.
5. Signed Copy of the Child Safeguarding Policy
6. Official Visitation Form
- Volunteers should seek to be culturally appropriate in their dress. Dress should be casual and practical (i.e. suitable for sitting on the floor and playing with children). As a general rule, clothing should be modest, nothing too short (to the knee is good) or exposing. Also please note that when entering any home, please leave your shoes outside, and remove your hat if you are wearing one.
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