Have the Trip of a Lifetime! Volunteer in Fiji
Bula! Set your internal clock to Fiji time! A gorgeous country in the South Pacific, you’ll first notice Fiji’s dazzling beaches, blue waters and coconut trees. Amazing towns like Nadi or Viti Levu will leave you marveling at the natural beauty of the islands. Spend a few days in Fiji, and the welcoming and open people will make you want to stay forever.
Volunteer work in Fiji is a great way to dive into the local culture and help tackle some of the most pressing issues facing the country, including community development, education, and healthcare. Read on to find out about the wonderful volunteer opportunities available to help the beautiful people and environment (and even turtles!) of Fiji.
What You’ll Be Doing as a Volunteer in Fiji
Fiji volunteer projects vary from conservation initiatives to healthcare programs. So, there’s something for every volunteer. Common activities include:
- Teaching English, sports, and more to students
- Constructing houses, schools, and buildings
- Assisting in the development of sustainable agricultural practices
- Helping educate the public about health issues and caring for the sick and elderly
- Working on specific animal conservation projects and helping with initiatives to preserve local land and marine ecosystems
The opportunity to help with such meaningful projects in Fiji can provide you with a truly life-changing experience. As one volunteer from International Volunteer HQ said, “It was an amazing experience and the people were beautiful. The experience has definitely changed my life for the better.”
Requirements for Volunteering in Fiji
For the majority of volunteer programs in Fiji, most of what you need to know is taught during training and orientation. Many organizations require you be at least 18 years old to sign up (though there are numerous Fiji programs for high school students and families). Purchasing travel and medical insurance for your trip is also a general requirement – and some programs may ask for a background check, particularly if you’ll be working with children.
For some specific programs, like a Fiji medical volunteer placement, you may have to be pre-med student or even an intern. Check specialized programs individually for specific requirements.
International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)
Known for offering very affordable programs, International Volunteer HQ has projects available year-round. Volunteers are placed in various Fijian communities and tasked with one of four different projects, including:
- Teaching and sports education
- Kindergarten classroom assistance
- Childcare and community support, including elderly assistance, gardening, and more
- Construction and renovation of homes and community resources such as libraries and classrooms
Programs last from one to 12 weeks, depending on how long you wish to stay. Accommodation is in dormitory-style lodging and you’ll get to sample your fair share of Fijian food (it’s delicious!).
Travel to the stunning Pacific island of Fiji and serve those in need through meaningful volunteer work. You can work in conservation or support people in need in local communities. Join one of Projects Abroad’s volunteer projects in Fiji for an unforgettable experience of doing good, including:
- Volunteer with Children: Support kindergarten teachers to promote early childhood education.
- Community Volunteer Work: Learn about Fijian life and culture by immersing yourself in daily village life and support local people.
- Nutrition Internships: Work with professionals to raise awareness in local communities about the importance of healthy living.
- Shark Conservation Volunteering: Dive in the clear blue waters of the South Pacific and play a vital role in shark conservation efforts.
- Teach English: Gain practical experience teaching children in rural communities.
Primarily for travelers under 18 years old, Rustic Pathways has numerous Fiji volunteer programs available for you throughout the year. Help with the construction of schools in the Highlands and Islands Service Immersion program or assist with preservation efforts of Fiji’s marine ecosystem in the Impact of Climate Change on Marine Environments program. Another neat program is the Sun, Sand and International Service program, which includes various community service activities, like constructing houses and tutoring local children.
If you want to volunteer for a long program, try the South Pacific Service and Ocean Skills program; it lasts 12 weeks and involves learning about and enjoying local culture as well as helping with educational, health and agricultural projects.
Global Vision International
When you volunteer with Global Vision International, you get to choose among four project options. Ideally suited for first-time travelers and teens, these projects have a focus on preserving nature and improving rural communities.
Depending on your interests, you could perform research on local fish species and crucial tropical coral reefs, teach English to locals assist with women’s empowerment initiatives or help build infrastructure. During these projects, you’ll also be given time to explore the local culture from the language and food to the traditions and customs.
Global Leadership Adventures – Empowering Island Communities (Great for Teens!)
Global Leadership Adventures aims to empower the 333 islands of Fiji through its flagship program. The program is designed for teens and consists of refurbishing rainwater collection systems, assisting with agricultural projects, delivering summer education classes or reading with children. In addition, you also get to learn local culture and explore the gorgeous Yasawa Islands.
Frontier has several programs currently in Fiji. One of the most popular ones is the Marine Conservation and Diving project; this program is not only helpful in preserving the ocean ecosystem around the Fiji archipelago, but it’s also fun (you get to go diving in Fiji!).
Other notable programs include the Fiji Teaching project, where you can earn your TEFL certificate, and the Fiji Shark Conservation initiative, which puts you real close to these spectacular creatures. Frontier has lots of options, from medical programs to beach conservation projects, so look through to see which one suits you best.
Founded in 2006 by experienced volunteers, GoEco has several high-quality volunteer programs in Fiji. Recommended by the likes of the Guardian and USA Today, and recognized as the Top Volunteer Abroad Organization by GoAbroad in 2015, it’s easy to see that going to Fiji with GoEco is a smart choice (they even offer 24-hour support and travel insurance for most placements).
For example, you could do the following:
- Inspire Kindergarteners: Stay in the tropical town of Sigatoka, and teach young children English through games, songs, and activities. Fees start from $1,040 for two weeks.
- Dive for Marine Conservation: Contribute to coral reef and marine biodiversity conservation. Also, you can earn PADI Specialty Diver certification through this project. Fees begin from $4,100 for four weeks.
- Go on a Road Trip: Tour Fiji in one trip! Learn traditional Fijian dance, relax on the beaches, cook Fijian cuisine, hang out in the capital city of Suva, go kayaking, and more. Along the way, give back to the communities by teaching, helping out at childcare centers, and coaching sports. The three-week adventure costs $2,100.
- Teach Children: Experience the Dawasamu Island of Fiji, and teach English, math, and science to a local island school.
Choosing the Right Program to Volunteer in Fiji
As a volunteer in Fiji, you’re definitely going to have fun. But more importantly, you’ll make an impact as you’ll play a role in building a better future for the islands of Fiji. When you choose a Fiji volunteer program, consider the practical things, like your budget and schedule, and where your skills can be of the biggest help.
If you’re ready to start planning your perfect Fiji volunteer trip, remember to sign up for an account today and begin fundraising! Click here to learn about other volunteer programs in Fiji and around the world – or click here for information about teach abroad placements, or intern abroad opportunities.
Steven Weddle · Co-Founder, Volunteer Forever
Steve Weddle is the co-founder and CEO of Volunteer Forever. Before Volunteer Forever, Steve was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force, where he served a tour of duty in Afghanistan.