1) Get to know us
Volunteering in Fiji is really rewarding and it’s a plus that you get to learn about and immerse yourself in a different culture to that of your own. It’s always good to learn a little bit about life in Fiji before you arrive. This will give you some insight into what to expect and prepare you for interaction with the locals.
During your volunteering experience, take the opportunity to get to know the Fijian people that you’re working with or supporting. They love to tell you about their involvement in our projects and all of the things that make Fiji so unique. The more that you learn about Fijian culture, the more likely it is that you will make a lasting impact on it’s people and your project. Knowing who you’re helping and how they need your help also makes your experience much more gratifying.
2) Teach a man to fish
|Share the Knowledge|
Use your skills to support the community in the best way possible and don’t be afraid to share your knowledge so that members of the local community can develop these skills themselves. To ensure that you make a lasting impact, pave the way for the volunteers that will be taking over long after you’ve gone. Passing on your knowledge and experiences during debriefing sessions and meal-time discussions with volunteers and Vinaka Fiji staff can be the best time to this. Always remember that the ultimate goal is to avoid any dependency on volunteers.
3) Set realistic goals for yourself
There’s no doubt that you’ll make an impact when you volunteer with Vinaka Fiji. All our volunteers are exceptionally enthusiastic and dedicated which is why we love having you here with us. We simply ask that you set realistic expectations for yourself. Whilst it might seem like your contribution is small, remember that you are building upon the work of the volunteers before you and that these projects will ultimately improve the lives of people in the Yasawas. Every contribution counts whether its getting a little girl excited about a book she’s reading, or laying the concrete foundation for a future water tank.
4) Make time for work and play
|Barefoot Manta Accommodation|
5) Sharing is caring
Vinaka Fiji relies heavily on donations and the work of its volunteers. One way to make a huge impact on people in the Yasawas is to share the Vinaka Fiji story to your network of family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Tell as many people as you can about our projects and share your Vinaka Fiji experiences on social media. The more you share, the more likely it is that people will donate or consider volunteering themselves. We would love it if you tag us, so that we can follow your story too (#vinakafiji, #voluntour).
6) Know your body and your limits
|Know Your Body and Your Limits|
All in all, you know your body better than we do. Rest when you need to, and make sure you let the Vinaka Fiji staff know if you need any medical assistance. We take health and safety seriously and have a medical evaluation policy in place as well as 24 hour in-country support. Travel insurance is an absolute must have and we recommend that you pack a personal medical kit to cater to your specific medical needs.
Learn more about Vinaka Fiji and visit our website: http://www.vinakafiji.org.fj/home