Volunteer Community Village Project in Fiji
- Placement locations: Villages near Nadi
- Role: To get involved in all aspects of village life
- Requirements: None
- Accommodation: Host families
- Length of placement: From 1 week
- Start dates: Flexible
Whether you are volunteering on a gap year, summer vacation, or career break, if you want a volunteer trip where you are truly immersed in a traditional culture, our Community Village Project based in a traditional Fijian village could be the perfect volunteer project for you.
Volunteers on the Community Village Project need to be prepared to fully immerse themselves in the community and culture. You will get involved in all aspects of village life, including helping with teaching, farming, cooking, basket weaving, mat making, tending to the gardens, and wherever else they may need an extra pair of hands.
Mornings will mostly be spent assisting in the kindergarten or primary school, where any additional skills you can bring, such as arts and crafts, sports, games, and music, will be much appreciated. Some of the villages choose to take a more traditional approach to teaching. Instead of adopting the modern exam system, they prefer more practical methods, such as song and dance, and using a more hands-on approach to the standard subjects of math, English, and science.
Volunteers joining the Community Village Project will get away from the hustle and bustle of the towns. However, all our villages are within a 1 hour drive of our office in Nadi, so you will always be within easy reach of Projects Abroad staff. Depending on when you join the project there may or may not be other volunteers in the same village, so you must be prepared for the exciting opportunity of being the only foreigner.
Community Volunteering Abroad in Fiji
Volunteers live with a Fijian host family, who will ensure that you soon feel at home and integrated into community life. You will live in the local, traditional manner, eating what the family eats and joining family activities. The villages are predominantly Methodist, and volunteers can choose to attend church with their host family on Sundays if they want to. The villages have basic amenities, and not all homes will have full-time electricity. In almost all cases only cold water will be available for showering, and some homes may have an outside toilet and washing facilities.
Fijian village life is communal and friendly. Family homes are open to their neighbors, and the villagers live and work together. Evenings are generally family time where members of the extended families catch up on the day, play cards, or maybe even sing along to the strumming of a guitar. Kava (a traditional drink made from the root of the Yaqona plant) often forms a major part of village life and most occasions happen around the Tanoa (the large bowl that the Kava is served from).
Fijian villages are presided over by a Chief, a hereditary role passed from father to son. The Chief will often preside over ceremonies. Each village will also have an elected Turaga ni Koro who acts as an administrator or mayor for the village. He plays a key role in the day-to-day running of the village.
Fijian culture sees the women doing the majority of the household work such as cleaning, cooking, and looking after the children. Men concentrate on farming and fishing.
Volunteers should have a mature attitude and be able to work independently, as there may be minimal contact with other volunteers during the week. You will normally have the opportunity to meet up with other volunteers on the weekends should you wish to travel.
This project is available for less than a month if you don't have time to join us for a month or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for shorter durations for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone participating for a longer period.
If you are a high school student and first-time traveller you may want to consider our High School Special programs in Fiji.