Nutrition & Public Health Program Fiji

WHY we need you in Fiji

Ella-Makowski-Fiji-Nutrition

HOW can you help?

WHAT you can do?

Why Involvement Volunteers International?

fiji volunteering sports and english teaching program with IVI

  PROJECT NAME: NUTRITION & PUBLIC HEALTH 

LOCATION: NADI, LAUTOKA & MANAMANUCA ISLANDS

  START DATES:  7th Jan 2024, 14th July

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

  MIN DURATION: 2 WEEKS

  MIN AGE: 18+

  SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: MEDICAL, NUTRITION & HEALTH STUDENTS OR QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS, Criminal background check required

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 cater to recent graduates, qualified professionals, or those studying with nutrition, dietetics, healthcare, or natural health backgrounds seeking valuable work experience in Fiji. Whether young, middle aged or retired, people of all experiences are welcomed 🙂  

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

Data entry is also part of the work and if you have a laptop, we encouage you to bring it along, which will help us gather as much data from our health checks. 

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.

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.
–  Data entry

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.

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.


All prices in USD
  • 1 Week - $995
  • 2 Weeks - $1250
  • 3 Weeks - $1410
  • 1 Month - $1570
  • 2 Months - $2233
  • 3 Months - $2880
Home Stays
What's Included
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Airport Pickup
  • Local Transportation (not for Leyte projects)
  • 1 Day Orientation
  • 24/7 In-Country Support
  • Project Materials & Equipment
  • Pre-departure Expert Advice
  • Preperation Tools & Checklists
  • Certificate of Completion

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 and/or Resort Rooms – Sharing with other volunteers)
  • 2 meals p/day (breakfast & dinner)
  • Return airport transfers from Nadi
  • In-country qualified healthcare practitioner coordinator
  • Full day orientation & training + cultural sightseeing
  • All ground transportation
  • In country 24/7 coordination & emergency assistance
  • Fundraising support
  • University course credits (where applicable)
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Airfares
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tours, Souvenirs & spending money

Orientation starts on Monday and 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 the program.   

During orientation we’ll review previous data from past intakes and practice health checks and related preparations. 

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. 

As a structured outreach placement, transportation to/from project locations (including island locations) is included in the cost. This will normally be via hire care / van with a dedicated driver. 

Volunteers can expect to have some smaller days of 4-6 hours or bigger days of 8 hours but it does vary, and volunteers need to be flexible with the demands of each location.

Some of the work you will be doing will be dependent on your prior skill level and qualifications. Some of the longer days or basic village stays can be challenging at tiring at times but our volunteers often say this can be the highlight of the trip! Our goal is to offer you the opportunity to gain hands on experience in the field while helping the local community. 

Nadi and Lautoka area
 
  • 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.   

This project 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

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