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Established in 1989, IVI is a non profit international volunteer organisation specialising in affordable & meaningful projects in over 15 countries worldwide.
With over 27 years experience, we have a huge range of projects catering to various needs, budgets and timeframes. Short term, long term, first time travelers, seasoned volunteers, families, mature age volunteers…. we’ve seen it all and have a project that is just right for you! With expert dedicated support and advice every step of the way.
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The highlight of the trip was meeting new people and living the Fijian life and not a tourist life. We used the public transport to get to the orphanage. It...Read more
The highlight of the trip was meeting new people and living the Fijian life and not a tourist life. We used the public transport to get to the orphanage. It was a 20 minute walk to the bus station and another 40 minute ride. Our family organised a card for us to use. Bus tickets were only $2.78 one way each. We also used the taxi service which is amazingly cheap compared to Australian Taxi fees. Tasting the different types of foods was great.
At the orphanage we were blown away how friendly the mothers were and how well behaved the children were. Everyone had a role to play. I have taken some photos of the orphanage. On our last day we were together with two other volunteers from New Zealand. We worked well together and set up an area for the children to play. There was a lot of washing each day. Every day we sat with the children and they loved doing the word search puzzles that we had brought. I donated two bags of art and crafts supplies which were gratefully received.
Food, accomodation, hosts:
Our hosts were amazing and made sure that we were taken care of. We had our room together that was well equipped with everything we needed. We were taken on a tour to the shops, bus station and to be inducted at the orphanage. One of the motherâs took us through and explained the routine and our jobs for the day. It was better when we had another team there that we could do projects together with.
I will aim to sent some donations to the orphanage and use my experience to encourage otherâs to do the same. It has been an amazing experience.
Highlights of the trip – without a doubt, the people on the island. Right from the time I arrived and met with Mr Matai at the school to meeting the...Read more
Highlights of the trip – without a doubt, the people on the island. Right from the time I arrived and met with Mr Matai at the school to meeting the family I stayed with, everyone was so welcoming. Everywhere I went on the island, there was always a ‘Bula’ coming my way. I was invited into so many family homes, usually with some kava involved.
I had always heard about the friendly nature of Fijian’s, but actually experiencing a couple of weeks living amongst the locals, I can truly say they are some of the friendliest people I have ever met on my travels.
Another quick highlight, the unbelievable views, I regularly spent the start of each day down on the beach just staring out into the water and surrounding islands and was equally happy just sitting on a chair out the front of the house watching island life go on.
It was not just the quantity of the food but the quality was amazing, especially given the limited resources (by Australian standards) in the house. I am certainly going to try to perfect the Topoi, something that became a regular for breakfast or morning tea
As for the family, they were fantastic, welcomed me from the very beginning. I would feel guilty every morning when I woke up at about 6am, only to find out they had already been up and to church at 4am and well and truly started their day. Anytime I needed something they were always there to help and no matter how often I offered to help round the house, they insisted I just relax and enjoy the island.
Overall, it was a fantastic trip and I am already trying to plan how I can get back in the next year or two (my problem is that I have to many places I still want to visit).
I hope the feedback is useful and I want to thank IVI, in particular Brian, for all of your help over the past 6 months in the lead up to my trip.
This organisation did not support me well. I was left in a risky area where I could not get a taxi or a bus or hire a car. I was...Read more
This organisation did not support me well. I was left in a risky area where I could not get a taxi or a bus or hire a car. I was the only person in the program and was completely by myself at night. The manager was incredibly difficult to get hold of and no support was given by Lauren, my contact in Australia. The program was very misleading and a lot of the promised facilities did not exist. The only highlight was a thai BBQ, apart from this I was not allowed to walk anywhere by myself or get a taxi. Overall, very disappointing. I left the program after a week. As soon as I told them I couldn't be by myself anymore the manager became downright vindictive and refused to help me or talk to me about my plans to leave. Do not go tino rural Thailand with this organisation. It might be ok to be in a town where you can get yourself around but not in a remote town in the middle of no where. It's a shame because the schools and the kids were keen to learn and it was hard to leave them.
I’m truly thankful for the past two months I’ve spent in this special country. I’ve met so many beautiful and inspiring people and have been exposed to a completely different...Read more
I’m truly thankful for the past two months I’ve spent in this special country. I’ve met so many beautiful and inspiring people and have been exposed to a completely different way of living and have seen a completely different appreciation for life. I will cherish the memories, the friends and all the unconditional love and smiles I received.