WHY we need you in Fiji
HOW can you help?
WHAT can you do?
Why Involvement Volunteers International?
PROJECT NAME: SPECIAL NEEDS SCHOOL
LOCATION: NADI & LAUTOKA
START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS)
MIN DURATION: ONE WEEK
MIN AGE: 18+ (16 if accompanied by a Guardian/Parent)
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Qualification for special needs care/ related field
* 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
We work with various special needs schools in Lautoka and Nadi. The schools cater for children and young adults from 5-20 years with learning disabilities, hearing, physical and intellectual impairments. The schools are well managed and run by caring staff who can always use a helping hand. The kids are not used to seeing foreigners and so the inter-cultural learning is a significant benefit for all parties.
Volunteers provide vital one to one care, listening to students read, assistance them with there work, helping with art and craft work, helping with administration duties, assisting in the canteen and various other valuable tasks in and around the school grounds.
Teach vocational skills, computer training, speech therapy, physiotherapy, music therapy, singing, dancing, arts & crafts, physical education.
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.
- Provide one on one care, feed, supervise and interact with the children and adults
- Play fun activites, like games, art classes, English teaching, speech therapy and more
- Assist with general duties like admin, cleaning and even computer training!
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
1 Day Orientation
24/7 In-Country Support
Project Materials & Equipment
Pre-departure Expert Advice
Preperation Tools & Checklists
Certificate of Completion
Applicants with past experience in this field or strong desire will be considered. Anyone with a calm, caring, patient and positive nature is welcome to apply.
- Accommodation (Home Stays – Sharing with other volunteers)
- 2 meals p/day (Breakfast & Dinner)
- Return airport pickup/drop off
- 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.
Each day will be different, with various activites and classes for the children and adults at the home. You are also able to think up create and fun activites that the children may enjoy.
- Visit the Garden of the Sleeping Giant: This beautiful orchid garden in Nadi was founded by actor Raymond Burr and is home to more than 2,000 varieties of orchids.
- Relax on the beach: There are many beaches in the Nadi and Lautoka area where you can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. Some popular ones include Natadola Beach and Denarau Island.
- Explore the Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud Pool: Located just outside of Nadi, this natural hot spring and mud pool is a great place to relax and rejuvenate.
- Take a tour of the Viseisei Village: This historic village near Lautoka is considered to be the oldest settlement in Fiji, and you can take a guided tour to learn about its history and culture.
- Shop at the Nadi Market: This bustling market in the heart of Nadi is a great place to find local handicrafts, souvenirs, and fresh produce.
- Visit the Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple: This beautiful Hindu temple in Nadi is the largest in the southern hemisphere and is worth a visit for its intricate architecture and colorful decor.
- Take a day trip to the Yasawa Islands: The Yasawa Islands are a chain of islands off the coast of Nadi, and you can take a day trip to explore their beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters.
- Learn to surf: Fiji is known for its world-class surf breaks, and there are several surf schools in the Nadi and Lautoka area where you can take lessons and catch some waves.
Coral Coast/ Sigatoka
- Visit the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park: This national park in Sigatoka is home to ancient Fijian archaeological sites and offers stunning views of the coastline.
- Be adventourous with white-water rafting, shark feeding, jet ski tours, zip lining and diving.
- Go on a river safari: Take a guided tour up the Sigatoka River to explore the Fijian interior and see traditional Fijian villages.
- Explore the Kula Eco Park: This conservation park in Sigatoka is home to many endangered Fijian species, including the Fijian crested iguana and the banded iguana.
- Relax on the beach: The Coral Coast is home to many beautiful beaches, including Natadola Beach and the beach at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort.
- Take a coral reef tour: Explore the beautiful coral reefs off the coast of the Coral Coast on a snorkeling or diving tour.
- Visit the Tavuni Hill Fort: This historic fort near Sigatoka dates back to the 1700s and offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
- Visit the Biausevu Waterfall: This beautiful waterfall near Sigatoka is surrounded by lush rainforest and is a popular spot for swimming and picnicking.
- Go on a sea kayaking tour: Explore the coastline and offshore islands of the Coral Coast on a guided sea kayaking tour.
- Attend a traditional Fijian ceremony: Many hotels and resorts in the Sigatoka and Coral Coast areas offer traditional Fijian ceremonies, including kava ceremonies and meke dance performances.
- Visit the Sigatoka Market: This bustling market in the heart of Sigatoka offers fresh produce, handicrafts, and souvenirs.
*You will need to have a qualification specific to special needs or a related field.
The following documents are required 33 days prior to project start date (so the local team can get approval):
- Police Clearance
- Passport page
- Vaccination Card
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.
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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