Woman & Children Commune Fiji

Provide well needed care and support for this community made up of almost 400 people from dis-advantaged backgrounds. Home to predominantly single mums, their children and some extended family, it is a place which will greatly benefit from an extra set of hands. Volunteers from all backgrounds and skills are needed.

Woman & Children Commune Fiji

Project Type

Home Stay Placement | Social Service, Kindergarten, Childcare, Healthcare, Building & Renovation, Counselling, Gardening, General administration & training

Duration

1 Week+

Start Dates

All year round (Arrivals Sat/Sun preferred)

Location

Lautoka

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Program Fees

Whats Included

  • Arrival  airport transfer
  • 3 Meals p/day weekdays, 2 meals p/day weekends
  • Accommodation (Volunteer Centers – shared dorm style rooms)
  • Daily ground transportation (to/from project)
  • Training & supervision as required
  • Use of necessary equipment incl program materials
  • 24/7 emergency assistance, volunteer support, local guiding and advice
  • Touring & excursions as per itinerary
  • Certificate of Completion 

Whats Not Included

  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Airfares & visa fees
  • Additional tours, souvenirs, spending money
  • Some daily local transport (depending on program eg. $2 p/day)

Background Information

This community is made up of almost 400 people, divided into 9 villages consisting of 4-5 flats, home to 4 different families. It is a place for ‘disabled’ people, predominantly single mums and their children and/or extended family.   The community receives some government support and social assistance but has very limited resources and can really use a helping hand.  Unfortunately, pleas for help by the passionate community administration staff regularly go unanswered.

There is a strict guideline for applying to tenant in this community which helps to keep harmony amongst families, although there is usually always issues and problems arising in human nature.  

The workload for the community staff is immeasurable and ongoing, and the community would greatly benefit from extra sets of hands, either by placing full time citizens in some of the above roles from the Suva office or sourcing constant support in the way of volunteers.

Role of volunteers
The role of our volunteers is varied, but ultimately, you are there to offer an extra set of hands to help lessen the burden of day to day operations around the commune, so that the residents can utilize their time in pursuit of economic opportunity to help bring themselves and their family out of poverty.   Volunteers are expected to bring a positive can do attitude and a willingness to help those less fortunate.  Typically, this involves between 4-6 hours of volunteer assistance at the commune during Monday to Friday.  Upon orientation , you’ll be assigned a coordinator who will help you integrate into the community so that you can feel at home and welcome here.  

These support roles may involve but are not limited to:
– Kindergarten assistant teaching
– Woman’s empowerment teaching
– Micro-business & economic empowerment
– Renovation and grounds maintenance
– Office administration & computer skills education

Core Operating Values

As a charitable organisation serving a multitude of families and individuals the following values are central to the community;

Caring Attitude – Compassionate and support to poor people and their families providing caring and support and empowerment. 

Respectfulness – Respect and encouragement of each person to take control of their own life

Diversity – An understanding that people from all ethnic backgrounds, and relegions may need caring support and assistance from time to time.  

Advocacy – Education for the public on the community based values in order to build advocates for increased awareness and further support.  

Kindergarten & Teaching Project

Unfortunately, even in today’s day and age, not everyone has the luxury of basic education. Beginning with basic education is the first step to leading a life with opportunity, in order to deliver basic education the kids need a classroom of their own.

The kindergarten makes use of the community hall with classes running 8am-11am. (teachers finish approx. 12pm) Unfortunately, there is no dedicated classroom for the students and teachers to make use of.  As this is a shared spaced, disagreements about the state of the hall occur between the various youth groups, church gatherings & village meetings. In terms of school supplies these are provided annually by the head office in Suva.

There are 36 students registered (aged 3-5 years) with around 20+ in attendance each day. Two teachers certified (USP or FNU) in Early Childhood teaching run the class. The students come from within the community housing as well as the surrounding farmland areas. Travelling to school on foot or by bus.

Classroom Construction Project

A dedicated classroom built for the community would immensely aid the facilitation of teaching the students, in a nurturing environment that is solely for the care and education of the students. Teachers wouldn’t have to worry about equipment & supplies being misused; class could run for a full day instead of only a few hours, members of the community would then have their hall back to regular use without education paraphernalia covering the walls and ceiling.

For this to happen, materials and volunteers skilled in construction are required. 

Community Support & Administration

With so many ongoing social, environmental and physical needs, volunteers need only some care, motivation and creativity to assist with various community needs such as;

  • Office administration & paperwork (bring your own laptop)
  • Healthcare (Nutritionists, Doctors, Nurses well needed)
  • Repair of a flat destroyed in Cyclone Winston
  • Assisting with tenant applications
  • Gardening
  • Finance
  • Building Maintenance & repairs
  • Creative/ cultural workshops
  • Counselling services

Who Can Participate
Prior experience with children is highly desired for childcare related fields.   All volunteers wanting to participate in this placement are required to submit a police report which clears them for participation in activities with minors.

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 located in a lovely suburb usually located within 5-10 minutes drive to your placement each day.   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 (if sharing a room). Many home stays include a self contained flat separate from the main residence so you can have your own space. Internet is usually not included with most volunteers purchasing a temporary 3G plan for their own device.

Enjoy integrating into a local Fijian way of life. You’ll have the support and care of living with a real Fijian family. We have a dedicated team on the ground and a network of host families and ground operators in various parts of the country.

Meals

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.

Visa Requirements

It is the responsibility of all participants to obtain any necessary visas.  Please note that the Fijian government has recently introduced a volunteer visa which has a cost of $190FJD (approx $100 USD) and carries with it some restrictions (eg. additional paperwork/approval to extend beyond 14 days).  This is obtained upon arrival.   A standard tourist visa applies for 30 days and is free of charge.  It is your choice to advise immigration accordingly.

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