Community Development Expedition in Fiji

Assist with implementation of livelihood strategies to protect the environment for the benefit of future generations of the Dawasamu district.

Durations:  1 - 12 weeks

Program information

On this program, you will work alongside our partners on a diverse range of projects in traditional coastal villages. Participants will be assisting with key infrastructure construction projects, as well as working on studies that inform important environmental management decisions by the local authorities.

undefined 31 May 2022

Included in your program

Make the most of our unique programs with these exclusively curated local adventure and wellness experiences.

Learn to cook iTaukei food

Make a traditional drink from kava root

Learn indigenous plant medicine

Hike to the top of Tova Peak

Fish with iTaukei women

Weave a traditional mat

Visit Vatu-i-Ra Conservation Park

Boat to Leleuvia Island

Connect with our alumni
Want to connect with some of our past participants about their adventures? Get in touch with hundreds of friendly ambassadors all over the world who would be more than happy to answer any questions.
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Marcos Ferrrira

07 Sep, 2018
I worked with GVI as a volunteer every summer from 2006 to 2012 and had the opportunity to take part in most inspiring projects, from Nicaragua to the Fiji Islands, where GVI is promoting community development and sustainable livelihoods. Although GVI has been involved in different projects on different continents, all of them were designed to be holistic and focus on people’s needs and resources. This integrated conception of development caught my attention from the beginning, made me rely on the organization and has taught me that education sits at the center of all efforts to enhance the resilience of fragile communities all over the world. My work with GVI has had two stages. From 2006 to 2010 I taught at different primary schools in Latin America during my summer break. Being a University lecturer, this experience has been extremely challenging but also rewarding. From Guatemala to Nicaragua, Ecuador and Peru I was lucky enough to meet motivated and bright children, most of them living under appalling conditions, who taught me that education can make a difference and prop up social mobility in these unbalanced societies. In some cases GVI was supporting public schools, in others, it set up its own schools as reinforcement schools. At the end of the day, the joy of teaching in harsh conditions and the sharing of frustrations and achievements always had the capacity of transforming a group of volunteers into a band of brothers and sisters. In the last two summers, 2011 and 2012, I decided to try a different kind of project in a different setting. I left Latin America to embrace the construction projects in the Fiji Islands. Working in the fragile Yasawa chain of islands since 2011, GVI is putting into practice a series of climate change adaptation strategies that include rainwater harvesting and storage. I was part of the second group of volunteers there in July 2011 and went back a year later to do the follow-up but mostly because I wanted to share more time with the communities down there. Apart from setting up rainwater systems, I had also the opportunity to help to teach at a school, fix its toilets, plant new vegetable gardens and take part in the environmental awareness events with the Yasawan children. I must say that working with GVI has changed the way I see the world and gave me a precious hands-on approach to global issues. Apart from that, it has redirected my work as a researcher and set off a new interest in documentary filming and editing. I presented my first film on Nicaragua in festivals in Portugal and Uruguay and am now finishing a second story also on Nicaragua. In a few months, I hope to start editing a new documentary on the Fijian communities I worked within the last two summers. In many ways, working with GVI has changed my life.

Ben Heath

15 Aug, 2018
Last summer I spent a month in Fiji on the community development project. I did two weeks of teaching and then two weeks helping with construction and the installation of rainwater harvesting systems. For me the best part of the experience was the teaching. Before I left I felt a bit apprehensive about that part of the project, but once I’d started I absolutely loved it. It was so rewarding to see the children improving through the weeks, and the fact that they really wanted to learn made it even better. If I was to go on another project I would definitely want to teach again, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to someone thinking about volunteering in the future. Before I decided to go to Fiji I’d been thinking about volunteering abroad for a while but had kept putting it off until then, and now I’ve been I wish I’d done it sooner. To anyone thinking about doing a project I would say just do it as soon as you can and you won’t regret it. Since returning from Fiji I’ve been looking forward to start working with GVI and I can’t wait to take part in another project, I really enjoy having the volunteering as something I can put my spare time into and feel like it’s actually helping people.

James Mckie

15 Aug, 2018
When arriving in Fiji with GVI I was aware of the countries status as the happiest place on earth. Now I am not sure how this is judged but its safe to say you can just give the trophy to Fiji every year! From the moment I arrived in Fiji I was greeted with nothing but warmth and appreciation from all that I met. My role as part of GVI's community construction project was to focus on installing and digging the base for vital water tanks. Not only are they a resource for fresh drinking water but used a way of growing crops that can sustain the villages throughout the particularly hot summer months. It was quickly I realised that despite being in paradise many islanders lacked the basics that we take for granted. As a group, we were invited into the home of a local family's house (Bure) who put on the most amazing lunch and thanked us so much for our efforts. I honestly believe that by participating in such projects as this your whole outlook on travel and how we can give back will change. GVI have created an amazing project which has allowed such a great relationship with the local community's. I urge you to give this a try and see Fiji in a way a tourist just simply never can!