Nutrition & Public Health Program Fiji

Travel with purpose and help combat malnutrition and public health issues in Fiji. If you have an interest or background in nutrition, dietetics, nursing, physiotherapy and community health we are running set intakes providing free health services to people in need. You'll have guidance from a qualified in country practitioner. A wonderful addition to any C.V. Applications open now. Apply today

we need you in Fiji

  • Approx 34% of the population in Fiji live below the poverty line
  • Rates for education and literacy are low, making it hard for many local people to find skilled work
  • Lack of adamant nutrition is prominant in Fiji, increased by the cheap imported food available, leading to obesity problems, as well as problems such as type 2 diabetes & micronutrient deficiencies
  • Malutrition is also seen in Fiji, particually with the under 5's, showing signs such as stunted growth and wasting (loosing muscle mass)

can you help?

  • For health students and qualified professionals, combat malnutrition and public health issues in Fiji
  • Assit in local health checks with guidance from a qualified in country practitioner
  • Help promote health, nutrition and fitness, giving free assessments to villagers from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Create diet, nutrition and diabetes awareness campaigns, to educate the local children

APPLY NOW

Ready to volunteer abroad? Complete your application online in about 5 min.

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NEED MORE INFO?

Not sure which program is right for you? Contact us for more info

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SCHEDULE A CALL

Let’s talk about it! Schedule your preferred time and date to chat

can you do?

  • Conduct health screenings like blood pressure checks, blood glucose level tests and waist to hip ratios measurement.
  • Give educational assistance and local talks (if desired)
  • Design fitness and exercise programs for villagers
  • Help identify protein deficiency among local school children

Why Involvement Volunteers International?

  • Non Profit Org & Charity with 30+ Years Experience
  • 13 Projects to Choose From in Bali
  • Social Experiences - Sharing with International Volunteers
  • Excellent Safety Record, In-Country 24/7 Support & Emergency Assistance
  • 1 Application Fee - Multiple Countries
fiji volunteering sports and english teaching program with IVI

  PROJECT NAME: NUTRITION & PUBLIC HEALTH 

LOCATION: NADI, LAUTOKA & MANAMANUKA ISLANDS

  START DATES: 20 JAN 2020, 07 JUN 2020, 20 JAN 2021 

  ACCOMMODATION: HOMESTAY OR RESORT (Depending on time of year)

  MIN DURATION: ONE WEEK

  MIN AGE: 16+

  SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: MEDICAL, NUTRITION & HEALTH STUDENTS OR QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS

  PROJECT COSTS: US$985 + APPLICATION FEE 

Overview

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. Depending on the time of year and participant numbers, you’ll participate in structured outreach programs and/or work within busy health clinics shadowing qualified health professionals and/or conducting free assessments as well as general help and assistance where needed.

Working alongside a qualified practitioner, the aim of the outreach project is health promotion & free assessments in villages, corporate businesses, schools & community centers 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.

As a volunteer on the public health & nutrition care project you’ll work in various communities around Nadi and Lautoka as well as remote island communities which lack access to basic healthcare. 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.

Volunteers may also take part in presentations on exercise and living an active lifestyle, with topics such as healthy eating, sexual health and physical activity for school children.

For qualified dietitians, nurses, public health graduates and allied health professionals enjoy the experience of a busy health center which provides health care services to all, regardless of income and nationality. Here you will see first hand the many health challenges faced by developing countries. You’ll work alongside qualified practitioners assisting in natural modalities related to your specialization. With up to 70 patients per day for a small team of highly qualified staff, this is a busy placement where you can get your hands dirty if you have the desire and skills. Project tasks included but not limited to;

– General outpatient services
– Free nutrition consultations and blood screening analysis
– NCD clinic care
– Preventative health education services
– Maternal child health clinics
– Family planning services
– Specialist services such as obstetrics & gynaecology
– Outreach specialist services & community health promotion activity
– Complex medical conditions
– ‘Health promotion for wellness’ activities in the community by our staff and community health workers.
– Rural women’s awareness, education and empowerment in reproductive health
– Research, training and education

Location 

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.

Project Tasks

  • 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.


Testimonials...

FAQ...

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 – 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
  • 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. 

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 5-30 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.

Each day can vary. There are plenty of areas you can choose to get involved in. Some of the work you will be doing will be dependant on your prior skill level and qualifications. 

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 330 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 30°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!

30 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

See More

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

Weekends & Extra Tours

Ready to Volunteer in Fiji?

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APPLY NOW

Ready to Volunteer abroad? Complete your application in about 5 min

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NEED MORE INFO?

Not sure which program is right for you? Contact us for more info

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SCHEDULE A CALL

Let's talk about it! Schedule your preferred time and date.

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Articles

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‘My time volunteering in Fiji with the IVI public health program was one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences of my life. It was a fulfilling experiences to help such beautiful people that are facing very serious but preventable health issues. The services, accommation etc. provided by IVI were far better than I could of ask for. The other …

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I had a great time! I am thankful for the trip 🙂 Returning to the Melbourne cold has been a bit of a freeze haha Here is my feedback! Highlights of the trip: The trip would not have been the same without the amazing pals I shared it with. Sharing this experience with them was bonding to the max haha. …

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Hey Lauren, Hope you’re doing well! Sorry for my late response, I continued traveling after Fiji and internet has been sometimes scarce so I have been rather offline, which is not a bad thing I suppose 🙂 I’ll try to summarize my feedback as per your request below, but I’m happy to give you more insights should you want to …

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Oh so blessed to work with a bunch of likeminded legends to complete health checks on the local Fijian people over the past two weeks Involvement Volunteers International Our first week was spent in Lautoka with a beautiful host family. I’ll be forever grateful for their hospitality and support while staying in their home! From here we ventured to two …

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I had the most wonderful time in Fiji, thank you! Probably the greatest experience of my life so far 🙂 I was going to post this little spill up on my Facebook along with some more photos. Fiji ~ vinaka vakalevu for such an eye opening experience! I learnt so much in the little time I was here and my …

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The time spent in Fiji was for me a formative time. I’ve really appreciated to be back to the “island” community, with their smile and life philosophy, with a health purpose in mind. I’ve also met supportive and nice people in the team. I would love to be back in Fiji or Vanuatu when finances permitted. Could you also please …

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Hi Lauren, Im so glad i could help out as much as i could, it was a very rewarding experience, i learnt a lot! All the girls on my team were amazing! Highlights of the trip: My highlight has ro be getting to visit the village on Vio Island, meeting the locals and carrying out the health checks on probably …

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Fiji Nutrition & Public Health- Review by Holly

Hi Lauren, thank you so much for everything. I found it really hard to put into words what the experience truly meant for me- it was so powerful I’m kind of at a loss, but I hope this is ok x Holly’s Testimony IVI’s Nutrition and Health Program in Fiji has been such a special and truly unique experience that I feel …

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Hi Lauren, Thank-you so much for your kind words and organizing this project along with Masi, Mare and Jules.  These two weeks have been an unforgettable experience and I wish I was still in Fiji!  As requested, please see below my comments. Highlights of the trip: The overall culture in Fiji: It was incredible to see how humble and community …

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HOW CAN YOU HELP? FIJI NUTRITION & PUBLIC HEALTH PROJECT   More alarming data about the NCD crisis in Fiji is now emerging with the World Life Expectancy ranking on diabetes placing Fiji number one once again in the number of deaths caused by diabetes.  LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE According to the World Life Expectancy ranking on diabetes, Fiji has the …

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Hi Lauren! Sorry for the late response, we were on the go very day! I loved our experience in Fiji for so many reasons, especially the people we got to know. Highlights of the trip: As a nurse, the most challenging but also interesting parts were the health checks in the Commune and the hospital experience. The commune because I felt needed and people …

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August 16, 2017 by Jessica Trethowan “Oh wow, we have the same birthday” I said gently, sitting cross legged on the floor opposite a woman of my exact age, her name was Kaliti. She smiled weakly. She had been pleased to see me but there was an unbelievable sadness to her that made me want to talk softly and slowly so as …

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Review – Nutrition & Public Health Program Fiji

| BULA! | Have you wondered why I’ve been so quiet of late??? I have recently returned from an amazing experience volunteering in Fiji. Having wanted to volunteer since my teens, I had the unique opportunity of combining my passion for helping others with my wealth of experience in nutritional medicine and diabetes education to assist in encouraging the local …

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Hi Lauren, sorry for the late reply. Back to normal life and work/study life is full on 🙂 I really enjoyed my experience over in Fiji. Masi certainly did a great job. There wasn’t a particular highlight but was great being accepted and appreciated in the different settings I volunteered, meeting new people and leaving an impact. The family home …

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Bula Lauren! First and foremost, we would just like to say a huge ‘Vinaka vakalevu’ to you and the whole team at IVI for our time in this most, beautiful country. Thanks for all your hard work in organizing our placements, tie-ing up all the loose ends and being so patient, cheerful and accommodating in everything that you do! We …

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Physiotherapy, Public Health & Nutrition Review – Fiji 2016

First and foremost, we would just like to say a huge ‘Vinaka vakalevu’ to you and the whole team at IVI for our time in this most, beautiful country. Thanks for all your hard work in organising our placements, tie-ing up all the loose ends and being so patient, cheerful and accommodating in everything that you do! We really felt …

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Nutrition, Dietetics & Public Health Program – Fiji 2016

Hi Lauren, Thanks for checking up. I am having a wonderful time! The clinic is definitely different from what I am used to but it is going to be a great experience, culturally and professionally! The health team are very welcoming and I have really enjoyed outreach. I accompanied a nurse to a local family home for a health check …

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Nutrition, Dietetics & Public Health Program – Fiji 2016

Overall, the nutrition project in Fiji was a great experience! It was hands on from the get go, I worked alongside the Ministry of Health with the local health team made up of the nurses and a Dietitian. It was fantastic exposure and a……. great learning experience. It suited my dietetic background as a masters student and will really benefit …

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Dietetics & HealthCare Review – Fiji 2014

My time in Fiji was so good! I learnt more than I could have hoped for, and the experiences I had will be so beneficial for me in the long run. I was very lucky with the program and have to give a big thanks as I know it was difficult at times to make sure there was enough work …

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