Special Needs School Assistance Fiji

Teach vocational skills, computer training, speech therapy, physiotherapy, music therapy, singing, dancing, arts & crafts, physical education in special needs schools in and around Nadi and Lautoka Fiji.

WHY
we need you in Fiji

  • Approx 34% of the population in Fiji live below the poverty line
  • Rates for education and literacy are low, making it hard for many local people to find skilled work
  • Lack of adamant nutrition is prominant in Fiji, increased by the cheap imported food available, leading to obesity problems, as well as problems such as type 2 diabetes & micronutrient deficiencies
  • Malutrition is also seen in Fiji, particually with the under 5’s, showing signs such as stunted growth and wasting (loosing muscle mass)

special school fiji program

APPLY NOW

Ready to volunteer abroad? Complete your application online in 5 min 


NEED MORE INFO?

Not sure which program is right for you? Contact us for more info


SCHEDULE A CALL

Let’s talk about it! Schedule a preferred time and date to chat via phone or video   

HOW
can you help?

  • Help staff at various special needs schools in Lautoka and Nadi
  • Care for students aged 5-20, who have disabilities such as learning disabilities, hearing, physical and intellectual impairments
  • Interact with the local staff and children, increasing their cultural awareness
  • Bring along a caring nature, installing confidence in the children

WHAT
can you do?

  • Assist local staff in caring for children and adults with special needs, providing one to one care
  • Help to feed, care, teach, play fun games, movement classes, physio, & speech therapy
  • Teach and play through games, songs, art, sport, music, singing and dancing
  • Help staff with administraion and general duties

Why Involvement Volunteers International?

  • Non Profit Org & Charity with 35+ Years Experience
  • 16 Projects to Choose From in Fiji
  • Social Experiences – Sharing with International Volunteers
  • Excellent Safety Record, In-Country 24/7 Support & Emergency Assistance
  • 1 Application Fee – Multiple Countries

fiji volunteering sports and english teaching program with IVI

Project Description

  PROJECT NAME: SPECIAL NEEDS SCHOOL 

LOCATION: NADI & LAUTOKA

  START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS) 

  ACCOMMODATION: HOMESTAY

  MIN DURATION: ONE WEEK

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

  SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Qualification for special needs care/ related field, Criminal background check required

* Please be aware, this project only runs in school term times. The dates for 2024 are as follows:

Term One – Monday, 29th January – to Friday 3rd May

Term Two – Monday 20th May – to Friday 23rd August

Term Three – Monday 9th September – to Friday 6th December

  

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Overview

We work with various special needs schools in Lautoka and Nadi. The schools cater for children and young adults from 5-20 years with learning disabilities, hearing, physical and intellectual impairments. The schools are well managed and run by caring staff who can always use a helping hand. The kids are not used to seeing foreigners and so the inter-cultural learning is a significant benefit for all parties.

Volunteers provide vital one to one care, listening to students read, assistance them with there work, helping with art and craft work, helping with administration duties, assisting in the canteen and various other valuable tasks in and around the school grounds.

Teach vocational skills, computer training, speech therapy, physiotherapy, music therapy, singing, dancing, arts & crafts, physical education.

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

  • Provide one on one care, feed, supervise and interact with the children and adults
  • Play fun activites, like games, art classes, English teaching, speech therapy and more
  • Assist with general duties like admin, cleaning and even computer training! 

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.

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.

 

Fiji volunteer home stay

homestays in fiji for volunteers

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Single or twin bedded rooms

Self contained 2 bedroom units

fees

Nadi/Lautoka
Area

*Remote Island Teaching
*Remote Island Construction
– Woman & Children’s Commune
– Orphanage Childcare
– Special Needs School
– Animal Shelter
– Disaster Mngt & First Aid
– Koroipita Construction
All prices in USD

  • 1 Week – $395
  • 2 Weeks – $555
  • 3 Weeks – $715
  • 1 Month – $895
  • 2 Months – $1545
  • 3 Months – $2195

*Cost of ferries not included in Remote Island placements. Expect to pay approx US$100 at locals rate (we’ll help you with this in Fiji)
Home Stays

What’s Included
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Airport Pickup
  • Local Transportation
  • 1 Day Orientation
  • 24/7 In-Country Support
  • Project Materials & Equipment
  • Pre-departure Expert Advice
  • Preperation Tools & Checklists
  • Certificate of Completion

– US$275 application fee applies in addition to program fees
– Application fee is one off per person (unlimited placements)
Click Here to convert the below prices to your local currency
– Discounts may apply if travelling in a pair or group!
– All credit card /international fees included in below pricing! 🙂

Testimonials…

I loved volunteering, the children at the school were so welcoming and happy all the time. I was placed in the junior class, which was quite a challenge as they were often misbehaving, but of course it was so rewarding helping them.
Clara
Clara Fiji Special Needs Project
Highlights of the trip: Spending time with my host family, getting to know the staff outside of volunteering, and working with the children at the school site.
Jennifer Holcombe
Jennifer HolcombeFiji Special Needs Project
Being a volunteer with IVI allows you to see the true non tourist side of Fiji which is quite rare. The opportunities and experiences I had volunteering with IVI was like nothing I’ve ever done before. I’ll definitely be heading back to beautiful Fiji soon!
Simone
SimoneFiji Special Needs Project
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FAQ

Is Special Needs Volunteering in Fiji right for me?

Applicants with past experience in this field or strong desire will be considered.  Anyone with a calm, caring, patient and positive nature is welcome to apply. 

What’s Included in the Volunteer Fees

  • 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

What’s Not Included

  • Airfares
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tours, Souvenirs & spending money

Is there an Orientation?

The Home Stay placements involve a simple and effective orientation which 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 in your designated program.

The Volunteer Center placements also 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. 

What About Transportation?

For home stay placements, 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. 

Transportation to/from your home stay to the placement each day is generally your responsibility, however your home stay family will assist you and ensure you receive local rates for any costs involved. We’ll place you as close as possible to the placement to limit daily travel times. Expect between 5-30 min each way for a small local transport fee (approx $2 p/day). Travelling by bus in Fiji is an experience of it’s own! 🙂

If arriving on the Saturday, you’ll need to book an extra nights accommodation in advance for an extra cost p/night, which includes meals. Travel time by bus between Nadi and Suva is approx 3-4 hours.   

What does a Typical Day Involve?

Each day will be different, with various activites and classes for the children and adults at the home. You are also able to think up create and fun activites that the children may enjoy. 

What Happens on Weekends?
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.     

Are There Any Special Requirements?

*You will need to have a qualification specific to special needs or a related field. 

The following documents are required 30 days prior to project start date (so the local team can get approval):

  • Police Clearance
  • Passport page
  • Vaccination Card       

Country Information

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.

Climate

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! 

What’s the Culture Like in Fiji?

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!

About Involvement Volunteers International

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

How Can I Raise Funds for my Trip?

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

Weekends & Extra Tours

Island hopping is a great way to explore Fiji, and there are so many stunning islands to choose from!
Island Hopping
Island HoppingFiji
Nadi is a Fijian and Indian town, with lots of activities do do. Check out the Sri Siva Subramaniya temple here.
Nadi
NadiFiji
Colo-i-Suva is a lush rainforest in Suva. There are several treks through the jungle, where you can swim in the waterfalls!
Colo-i-Suva Forest Park
Colo-i-Suva Forest ParkFiji
Ziplining is just one of the adventurous things you can get up to in Fiji. This is one for the thrill seekers and who love being outdoors.
Ziplining
ZipliningFiji
For those who enjoy a much slower pace of life, there are hundreds of tranquil beaches to lounge on. This is a great way to really unwind from your busy projects!
Enjoy the Beach
Enjoy the BeachFiji
Snorkelling and diving are two activites which are freely available in Fiji. The island hosts some of the most pristine and clear waters.
Snorkelling/ Diving
Snorkelling/ DivingFiji
Enjoy this thrill seeking activity, not for the faint hearted! Rafting is great fun and an exhilerating way to spend your weekend!
White Water Rafting
White Water RaftingFiji
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Ready to Volunteer in Fiji?

APPLY NOW

Ready to volunteer abroad? Complete your application online in 5 min 


NEED MORE INFO?

Not sure which program is right for you? Contact us for more info


SCHEDULE A CALL

Let’s talk about it! Schedule a preferred time and date to chat via phone or video   

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Highlights of the trip: Spending time with my host family, getting to know the staff outside of volunteering, and working with the children at the school site. Comments on the team, food and accommodation:  Everything went well. Everyone was eager to make me feel welcome and to assist in any needs as they developed.  Any improvements to help us be …

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Special Needs School Review Fiji – 2015

In my one month stay in Fiji I spent time in both the orphanage in Nadi and the school in Lautoka. Both places make you feel so at home and the children love having you around. I loved living with the wonderful Fijian host families that make you feel part of their family. Being a volunteer with IVI allows you to …

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Special Needs Fiji Placement Review – 2015

  Hi Lauren! I loved volunteering, the children at the school were so welcoming and happy all the time. I was placed in the junior class, which was quite a challenge as they were often misbehaving, but of course it was so rewarding helping them. I especially liked the teacher, Mrs. Chand, who was so friendly, and she would always …

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