Remote Island Construction Fiji

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WHY we need you in Fiji

IVI volunteer at Fiji remote building project

HOW can you help?

WHAT can you do?

Why Involvement Volunteers International?

fiji volunteering sports and english teaching program with IVI

  PROJECT NAME: REMOTE ISLAND CONSTRUCTION  

LOCATION: MANAMANUKA ISLAND RANGES

  START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS) 

  ACCOMMODATION: HOMESTAY

  MIN DURATION: ONE WEEK

  MIN AGE: 18+ (16 if accompanied by a Guardian/Parent)

  SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Criminal background check required

Overview

This is an incredible placement where you can experience in depth the authentic Fijian Island way of living. After presentation of your offering (Kava ceremony) you will be welcomed into the community to live as an honored guest.  

The placement is centred around the local public school where approx 100 students from kindergarten through to grade 6 come to learn each day. You’ll assist in renovations in and around the school and also within the neighboring villages where your assistance will be very well received.

The day to day tasks will be varied but will consist mainly of light renovation and construction work depending on your skill level. Volunteers will need to be self sufficient and competent enough to see areas of opportunity and to assist as appropriate. This is a challenging and raw experience where you can truly make a positive impact and likely gain an appreciation for the simple things in life.  

Location

This island paradise has extensive views over fringing coral reefs and green-blue tropical seas. It’s a medium sized island (approx 10km in diameter) with cliffs and rolling hills for amazing hikes with views out to surrounding islands where for island hopping or snorkelling. With approx 800 native Fijian inhabitants (some of whom have never seen a car!)  Many inhabitant’s work on the local tourist islands. The village’s main source of incomes is handicrafts, pottery and shells, with the local people otherwise relying on subsistence farming and fishing.

Project Tasks

  • Assist local workers on construction and renovation of the school
  • Use your knowledge to help on building projects or help paint and decorate community buildings
  • Immerse yourself into the community, interacting with the teachers, children from the school and your host family

Food & Accommodation

You will live within the large gated school compound where individual family residences exist for the school staff and their families. You’ll normally be provided your own room or sharing with another volunteer. Bedding is usually a mattress on the floor. It’s clean and comfortable, but no frills. The houses are light and airy right next to the ocean but very basic, with normally a living area, sleeping area, kitchen and adjoining bathroom.  

Electricity is a luxury on the island and small solar lamps are used for the evenings. This means, tv’s radio’s, fridges etc are limited. You’ll be able to charge your laptop or mobile device no problem. You’ll also have a safe place to store your belongings. 

Please note – Many things that we take for granted in our homes are not available on the island and living conditions are very basic. Borehole water is used for washing and toilets and rainwater is used for cooking and drinking. Toilets are western style and waterseal. They need to be filled with a bucket of water to fill the cisten before flushing.

Fresh fruits and vegetables can be quite scarce on the island so it’s recommended to bring a small offering of rice, flour or long lasting vegetables (ie. cabbage) with you along with some snacks for yourself if desired. You will have plenty to eat, but the variety of options will be less than other home stay placements.

Breakfast would normally consist of tea with homemade pancakes, bread and fruit if available. The pancakes are very similar to donuts and very yummy!

Lunch and dinner would mostly consist of fresh fish, chicken, lamb or tinned food. This placement will be difficult for vegetarians who do not eat fish.

 

All prices in USD
  • 1 Week - $395
  • 2 Weeks - $555
  • 3 Weeks - $715
  • 1 Month - $895
  • 2 Months - $1545
  • 3 Months - $2195
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

Although a beautiful island- it is very remote and there will not be the luxuries you may be used to. This project would suit anyone wishing to get off the beaten track and who doesnt mind going back to basics in terms of food and accomodation. The construction project can be hard work so you need to be able to work in the heat. 

This project also allows you to fully integrate yourself into the local community and to really feel like you’re part of the family. You can go to church, explore the island with the kids and eat with your host family. This would suit anyone who wishes to get out of their comfort zone and truly experience a different culture. 

  • Accommodation  (Home Stays – Sharing with other volunteers)
  • 2 meals p/day (Breakfast & Dinner)
  • Return airport pickup/drop off
  • 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

No specific orientation is offered on this project due to the remote location. If you did want to get to know your environment a bit more before you start your project, you could book an extra night on the mainland and join an orientation in one of our other locations.

The Volunteer Center placements 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. 

Included in the cost is an arrival airport transfer from Nadi airport to the marina if heading to the islands directly.  In most cases however, you’ll stay with a home stay in Nadi or Lautoka for 1 or 2 nights before making your way to the island.  

The cost of transfers from the marina to/from the island are not included however we get you the locals discount which brings the cost from approx US$110 return down to approx US$40 return. 

There are 2 ferry trips to/from the island daily departing from Port Denerau each day;

  • Departing Ferrys – 9:15am and 3:00pm
  • Returning Ferrys – 10:15am and 4:00pm

This depends on the work needed at the time of your visit. It will most likely be helping at the islands school and in the villages. Being able to work on a project from start to finish is extremely rewarding. 

You are located on a proper Fijian remote island in the Manamunca island range. Island hopping to local tourist resort islands is the most likely past time for volunteers in this region. This is truly a unique placement as foreigners are not allowed to visit the island without express consent from the island chief. As part of the volunteer arrival you must bring Yaqona (Cava) as an offering to the chief.  

Island hopping, snorkeling, surfing, boating, craft making & hiking as the island is mountainous are all options involved. 
 
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.  

Other Info:

  • Local Customs – We will help you source some Yaqona (approx US$15) for “sevusevu”.  This is the traditional way of going to the village.  Yaqona (Kava) is taken and presented to the village chief to get his blessings for you to stay on the island.  
  • Medical –  A resident nurse and health centre is located on the island.  For emergency, helicopters can get to the island and to Lautoka hospital within an hour
  • Dress – A dress code will apply mainly to females when in around the villiage.  They will need to wear dresses or long skirts or “sulu”
  • School Holidays – Alternative options exist during school holidays in April, August, November, December

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!

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