School Infrastructure, Education 

and Village Homestay Project

Come join us in Fiji this year and help to provide remote villages with access to fresh water, restore local school equipment and teach English to primary school children.

  • Constructing rain water catchment tanks
  • Teaching English at local school
  • Restoring the school equipment and buildings
  • Experiencing a 'homestay' with a family in a traditional village
  • Island hopping in the beautiful South Pacific

During the first week you’ll be living in a 'homestay' in a traditional Fijian village. After a traditional Fijian welcome ceremony and a bowl of Kava, you will work alongside the villagers and VESA team to construct composts and incinerators to keep the schoolyard and village clean and safe. When the schools are in need, you’ll build rain water tanks; these guarantee a year-round supply of fresh, clean and running water. You will also be helping in the local school teaching various subjects tailored to each grade’s needs such as geography, math and science through basic lessons and games. Furthermore, you will be involved in running basic workshops demonstrating proper hygiene techniques and the importance of nutrition and a healthy diet.


Fijian construction

Fiji tropical adventure

In the second week you will be off on an incredible tropical island hopping adventure! Imagine sailing to your own private island to relax in a hammock on the beach or to be as active as you want! Swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, volleyball, fishing and more! All you have to worry about is catching the boat to the next island and the next little piece of paradise in the South Pacific…

A Volunteer Eco Students Abroad program allows you the opportunity to make a difference and enjoy incredible moments in some of the most beautiful and remote parts of the world

"Fiji is beautiful with wonderful, friendly people – the village was perfect and we were looked after so well and it was brilliant to fully be immersed in their way of life. It was a delight to have so much work to do on the projects. We left behind valuable renovations and changes. The islands were spot on with fantastic accommodations and awesome activities. A shame it’s over so quickly. Thank you so much" Becky - Portsmouth University

"Amazing trip. Loved the villages and proud of the work we did". Daniel- York St John University

Information about Fiji

Fiji is quite simply picture postcard stunning! White sandy beaches, turqouise water, lush tropical mountains and a smile on every local's face.

The jewel of the South Pacific, the Fijian Islands cover around 1.3 million square kilometres but less than 1.5% of this is dry land. Fiji has over 300 islands and VESA invites you to come join us this year and see a few of the best!

Fiji lies to the south of the equator and to the north of the Tropic of Capricorn, the international date line making a marked dogleg to the east to keep all of Fiij falling within the same time zone. The largest island and home to it's capital (Suva) is Viti Levu. Suva, the capital of Fiji and it's largest city has a poplulation of little over 190,000 people. Whilst English is widely spoken in Fiji, the official languages are Fijian and Fijian Hindi.


Fiji Island Discovery

Owing to it's geography Fiji's richest wildlife is found underwater, in it's crystal clear oceans. There are hundreds of species of hard and soft corals, seas fans and sponges. The tropical fish of Fiji are breathtaking and numerous. Finding Nemo is relatively simple in the warm waters of Fiji's coral reefs. Turtles can be seen cruising the shallows near the beaches and numerous large pelagic and reef fish abound!


Fiji Island Discovery

Fiji's population is a vibrant melting pot of indigenous Fijian's and Indo - Fijian's. Whilst indigenous Fijian's are more likely to live in traditional villages with strict hierarchy, the minority Indo - Fijian's are more prevalent in the larger cities. It is a predominantly Catholic society with a significant Hindu minority. Women play an important role in the Fijian economy and society with female travellers rarely, if ever, experiencing any trouble in this friendly and welcoming culture.

Although a fortunate country in many ways, Fiji is still a developing nation. Average wages for unskilled workers is about $50 per week with this figure even lower within remote communities. Whilst tourism has bought prosperity to some fortunate Fijian's, many of the large resorts and operators are foreign operated with profit's headed overseas.

Even so, the Fijian people remain endearingly optimistic and welcoming. The lucky few that experience traditional village life in Fiji whilst volunteering with VESA will take away memories and make friendship's that will last a lifetime.

Fiji Islands Discovered

Itinerary 2018

Day 1 Flight to Nadi.
You will be met at Nadi International Airport by our friendly VESA staff member who will be easily recognisable with their VESA t-shirt and signs. Whatever your travel arrangements, please ensure you are at the international arrivals hall at the time of the group flight arrival. We will be transported by coach to our hostel where you can spend the evening 'acclimatising' and getting to know your fellow volunteers. Overnight at hostel.
Day 2 Breakfast and then coach to our village where you will be introduced to your host family. After settling in to your home stay, we will be properly introduced to the village in a traditional welcoming ceremony.

Day 3-7 You will begin your volunteer work on day 3. You will be split into groups to undertake the following: working with children in the village school teaching English and basic sanitation, renovating and revitalising the facilities with fresh coats of paint, installing new play equipment and the construction and installation of bathrooms, water catchments composting units.


The daily schedule will run as follows:
08:00am - Breakfast
09:00am – Begin Volunteer work
12:30pm – Lunch
01:00pm – Continue volunteer work
04:00pm – End of work day
04:30pm – Free time and activities:
07:00pm – Dinner
08:00pm – Free time and activities
Day 8-9 Overnight coach to Port Denarau then embark on a beautiful boat ride to Nabua Resort located on Nacula Island. Spend your days on the beach, in hammocks, playing volleyball, kayaking or snorkeling. Visit the historic Sawa-I-Lau caves and the famous Blue Lagoon. Optional hiking trails and fishing trips are available if you’re feeling adventurous. At night we will have some fun & games lined up… While you’re here, you can do as little or as much as you like!
Day 10-11 Cruise to Korovou Eco Tour Resort located in the Naviti group of islands- Long Live Island Life! Swim in the pool, hang by the bar, get a game of volleyball going, or try your luck in crab racing. Korovou is your chance to try scuba diving at world-class reefs (optional as below). Spend the morning snorkeling at the coral gardens with the reef sharks and your afternoon trekking to honeymoon beach or just relaxing in a hammock for the day.
Day 12

Cruise to Bounty Island in the Mamanuca Island group and enjoy happy hour at the beachside bar! 

Day 13

Last day on the islands to snorkel, kayak and paddle-board among a number of other optional activities offered by the island. 

Day
14
 
 Boat transfer to Port Denarau on the mainland or wave goodbye to the group and stay on Bounty Island for A Week in Paradise marine conservation project. Farewell dinner and overnight at Nadi Bay
Day 15  Flight home

Inclusions:

  • All meals, except free day.
  • All accommodation.
  • All volunteer materials and local builders/assistants.
  • Drinking water when necessary.
  • All in country transportation.
  • All activities except where indicated as optional.

Optional extras (approx prices only):

  • Massage $50-60 FJD
  • Sawailau Cave Trip $75 FJD
  • Scuba Diving $195 FJD Intro Dive
  • Scuba Diving - certified divers $155 FJD
  • A Week in Paradise - turtle conservation project  £599

Accommodation:

2 night - Nadi Bay Resort
Hostel in dorm style accommodation separated into male female
Electricity, full bathrooms, bed linen, phone cards and internet available in the town. Close to shops and medical clinics.

7 Nights Fijian family home stay
All meals
Room shared with one or two other same gender volunteers.
Drinking water where deemed necessary, limited electricity, communal toilets, river, no internet,no phones.

Island week

2 nights Nabua Lodge – Nacula Island

2 nights Korovou Island Resort - Naviti Island

2 night Bounty Island
All Meals, dorm accommodation, linen, full bathrooms, no phones or credit card facilities.

A Volunteer Eco Students Abroad program allows you the opportunity to make a difference and enjoy incredible moments in some of the most beautiful and remote parts of the world

"My time in Fiji has changed my entire outlook on life - the past two weeks have been the best in my life and I will never forget it. The Island accommodation and activities exceeded expectations and I have made lifelong friends with both the other volunteers and with my Fijian family. Thank you to all of our fantastic team leaders!" Luke - University of Hull

Fiji Islands Discovered 2018

Please note positions are highly limited for our 2018 programs so submit your application early to secure the best chance of travelling with VESA this season.

#

Fiji Islands Discovered

A Week in Paradise

5

Mon July 9th - Thurs July 26th 2018

Through to - Thurs August 2nd 2018 - (FULL)

6

Mon July 23rd - Thurs August 9th 2018 

Through to - Thurs August 16th 2018 - (FULL)

7  Mon August 6th - Thurs August 23rd 2018 Through to - Thurs August 30th 2018 - (FULL)

How much does the program cost?

To secure your place with VESA a non-refundable deposit of is payable immediately after you have received notification of your acceptance to participate in the program.The balance or final payment of the program costs is due 45 days before departure.The total cost (inclusive of deposit and exclusive of flights) of the VESA program is:

Fiji

Program

Deposit

Final payment

Total

Fiji Islands Discovered

£200

£1099

£1299

 A Week in Paradise - Turtle Conservation (optional add on) £100  £499 £599

What is included in the cost?

The cost includes:

  • Non refundable deposit to secure your space.
  • All accommodation for the duration of the program.
  • All ground transportation in country.
  • All meals (three meals per day) whilst in Fiji, except for the free day.
    We can cater to vegetarians and some types of food allergies.
  • Bottled water when necessary in Fiji.
  • Some snacks.
  • Building materials needed for volunteer project.
  • Hiring of local skilled trades people to assist in the volunteer projects.
  • A monetary donation to the local host organisation.
  • 6 day island hopping adventure.
  • All admission fees to local parks and sites.
  • All accompanying VESA staff members.
  • All administration costs.
  • Certification (if requested) of completion of the volunteer program. Great for your resume.

What is not included in the cost?

The cost does not include:

  • International airfares
  • Airfares to the International point of departure (if required)
  • International Departure Taxes
  • Travel insurance
  • Vaccinations
  • Any visas (if required)
  • Passports
  • Meals on one free day

What if I need to cancel?

If you wish to withdraw your enrolment please notify us in writing by post or by email. Please note that if you wish to withdraw your agreement you will be bound by the cancellation fees set out in the VESA Cancellation Policy.

Am I able to fundraise to offset the cost of the program?

Absolutely! In fact, we encourage all our students to actively fundraise to help pay for their program costs. Upon receipt of your deposit and confirmation onto a program, VESA will send out a fundraising package. The fundraising package contains a letter from VESA introducing you to potential donors, a letter from the local host organisation, a list of proven fundraising ideas and a receipt document.

Many of our students have raised all of the funds necessary for their program and flights costs. Join our Facebook group and page Volunteer Eco Students Abroad to see some of their ideas.

Please note, whilst VESA is a volunteer organisation it is not a registered charity so donations will not be tax deductible.

Marine Turtle Conservation

'A Week in Paradise'

The Mamanuca Islands of Fiji are a volcanic archipelago lying to the west of Nadi and to the south of the Yasawa Islands. Bounty Island’s tropical environment and pristine white sand beaches makes it one of the most beautiful islands in the Mamanucas.

VESA is currently running a Turtle Conservation Program which is an awesome way to get more out of your volunteering experience and be a part of an initiative to increase the population of the native sea turtles and to restore the reef to its native state...all taking place on a stunning tropical island. This place is paradise!

Fiji Island Discovery

Staying on the island’s resort and working under the guidance of a marine biologist, you will gain a greater understanding of sea turtles and the ecosystems that they inhabit. From nesting patrols and tagging nesting females to hatchling care, foraging for turtle feed to building new ponds. There is so much to do and we need help!

You will learn about coral conservation and reef mapping, which involves snorkelling the crystal clear water to count the number and variety of fish, coral and other beautiful marine life then transplanting coral from healthy reefs to rebalance the fragile ecosystem.In the afternoons we have some great activities to cool us down including the option to learn scuba diving.

Fiji Island Discovery

This program will include accommodation on Bounty Island, resort style meals, loads of activities plus all the necessities for the coral conservation work including materials, snorkel gear and kayaks.

Day Activity
Day 1-8

As our new project we have so much for you guys to do! 

Volunteer schedule

  • Nesting patrols – nightly patrols to identify turtles nesting 
  • Tagging of nesting females 
  • Hawksbill Hatchling Headstart Programme – identifying nests or hatchings at risk and relocating hatchlings 
  • Provide ongoing care for Headstart Hatchlings – cleaning pools, foraging for dietary components e.g. seaweeds, crabs,
  • Build a new turtle sick bay
  • Crown of Thorns Starfish (COTS) removal 
  • Artificial reef development – constructing artificial reef 
  • Coral farming – harvesting and growing coral fragments for transplant on affected reef or artificial reef
  • Installing and tending to nurseries
  • CoralWatch coral bleaching surveys
 Day 8  Afternoon transfer to Nadi Bay Resort
 Day 9  Souvenir shopping and flight home

Inclusions:

  • All accommodation on Bounty Island and Nadi Bay Resort
  • All resort style meals.
  • All in country transport.
  • Drinking water where required.
  • All materials required for coral replantation (incl. snorkel gear).
  • All materials required for turtle and coral conservation work.
  • Staff and local labourers

Accommodation:

7 nights in dormitory style accommodation on Bounty Island
1 night Nadi Bay Resort 


Fiji Island Discovery


Fiji Island Discovery

Group Flight Information

Group Flights to Nadi, Fiji are arranged by VESA through reputable licensed travel agents and offered to our volunteers.

There are many advantages to travelling with the group:

  • You only have to pay the initial deposit to hold your seat rather than the whole amount leaving loads of time for fundraising.
  • You will be travelling with a big group of fellow volunteers.
  • You will be met by our friendly staff on arrival at your destination

Group Flight booking forms will be emailed to all confirmed volunteers. The details are published below. You may book your own flights by following this schedule and then informing VESA of your itinerary so that we can be assured you will be able to meet our schedule.

Group Flights: Fiji Islands Discovered 2018



Group Depart London HeathrowDepart Nadi
09 July Korean Airlines flight 908 depart Heathrow 1935 arrive Seoul 1435 + 1 day
10 July Korean Airlines flight 137 depart Seoul 1925 arrive Fiji 0835 + 1 day (11 July)
25 July Korean Airlines flight 138 depart Fiji 1000 arrive Seoul 1735 (overnight airport hotel 25 Jul)
26 July Korean Airlines flight 907 depart Seoul 1325 arrive Heathrow 1725 
5 + A week in Paradise
09 July Korean Airlines flight 908 depart Heathrow 1935 arrive Seoul 1435 + 1 day
10 July Korean Airlines flight 137 depart Seoul 1925 arrive Fiji 0835 + 1 day (11 July)
01 Aug Korean Airlines flight 138 depart Fiji 1000 arrive Seoul 1735 (overnight airport hotel 1 Aug)
02 Aug Korean Airlines flight 907 depart Seoul 1325 arrive Heathrow 1725 
23 July Korean Airlines flight 908 depart Heathrow 1935 arrive Seoul 1435 + 1 day
24 July Korean Airlines flight 137 depart Seoul 1925 arrive Fiji 0835 + 1 day (25 July)
08 Aug Korean Airlines flight 138 depart Fiji 1000 arrive Seoul 1735 (overnight airport hotel 8 Aug)
09 Aug Korean Airlines flight 907 depart Seoul 1325 arrive Heathrow 1725 
6 + A week in Paradise 
23 July Korean Airlines flight 908 depart Heathrow 1935 arrive Seoul 1435 + 1 day
24 July Korean Airlines flight 137 depart Seoul 1925 arrive Fiji 0835 + 1 day (25 July)
15 Aug Korean Airlines flight 138 depart Fiji 1000 arr Seoul 1735 (overnight airport hotel 15 Aug)
16 Aug Korean Airlines flight 907 depart Seoul 1325 arrive Heathrow 1725 
7 
06 Aug Korean Airlines flight 908 depart Heathrow 1935 arrive Seoul 1435 + 1 day
07 Aug Korean Airlines flight 137 depart Seoul 1925 arr Fiji 0835 + 1 day (8 August)

22 Aug Korean Airlines flight 138 depart Fiji 1000 arri Seoul 1735 (overnight airport hotel 22 Aug)

23 Aug Korean Airlines flight 907 depart Seoul 1325 arrive Heathrow 1725 

7 + A Week in Paradise

06 Aug Korean Airlines flight 908 depart Heathrow 1935 arrive Seoul 1435 + 1 day

07 Aug Korean Airlines flight 137 depart Seoul 1925 arri Fiji 0835 + 1 day (8 August)


29 Aug Korean Airlines flight 138 depart Fiji 1000 arrive Seoul 1735 (overnight airport hotel 29 Aug)
30 Aug Korean Airlines flight 907 depart Seoul 1325 arrive Heathrow 1725 

Frequently asked questions

Is Fiji Safe?

Safety is a good question, and a matter we take very seriously. The Fijian Islands were actually chosen as our destination because of the security of the location. 

VESA staff members meet the designated Group Flight at the arrival hall of the airport, where they are accompanied to our hostel and then on to the village. Our VESA staff members are with the volunteers in the tiny village overnight and the whole group stay in the same village together. There are two to three volunteers per home stay. Our directors and staff are very familiar with the village and villagers and all homes have been checked and provided with bedding etc for our group.

The students are supervised and accompanied on all volunteer work, activities, overnight accommodation and in country transportation by a VESA rep.

 As with all our programs, safety of our participants is our #1 priority. 

We are aware that for some of our participants this may be their first experience abroad or even away from their families. Should you have any queries or need any assistance while on program there will always be someone nearby to help and you should not hesitate to ask any question at all. We are definitely there to make our volunteers have the best possible experience.

VESA closely monitors all political, civil and environmental situations in Fiji. Should we deem that the area is unsafe for travel we will readjust the program accordingly.

Please visit your government’s travel website for further information on travelling conditions throughout the South Pacific.

Who is leading the program? 

Students on the VESA programme will be accompanied at all times by members of our staff who are all qualified Senior First Aid technicians. 

In Fiji, we work with an already established Non Profit organization, and at all times will be accompanied by the organization’s staff as well as two VESA staff members. On tour both staff members as well as a local guide will travel with you.

How is the weather?

The climate in Fiji is tropical and warm year round. 

I can't speak Fijian, is that a problem?

Not at all - the majority of the population speaks English.

Can I ring/email home?

There is very limited cell phone coverage whilst on the first week of the program. Internet is not available during the volunteer week, but may be available for a fee on the island of Korovou, where we stay for 3 nights. You can email or Skype home from here.

Wi-Fi minutes can be purchased at our accommodation in Nadi on the first night. A card can be bought at the reception counter. This is the only time Wi-Fi is available on program.

How much money do I need?

All accommodation and food is included in the cost of the program. However if you wish to buy that special necklace for back home, then you will need to bring along some cash. 

At Nadi International airport on arrival there are ATMs for you to take out local currency, the Fiji Dollar, for drinks, snacks and souvenirs. It is extremely important that you alert your bank and credit card company that you will be travelling overseas so that they do not put a hold on your card. A quick phone call is all it takes.

Optional activities in Fiji i.e. scuba Diving can be paid for by credit card or in cash on the spot.

What is the currency in Fiji?

The Fiji Dollar is the only currency accepted in Fiji.

What transport in country will be used?

In Fiji we travel by coach as well as inter island boats s whilst on the island hopping tour!

Health and Safety – Fiji Islands

Every aspect of the program, from your departure to your return, has safety as the highest priority.

The Fijian Islands were chosen as our destination because of the security of the location and the friendliness of the people.

We are aware that for some of our participants this may be their first experience abroad or even away from their families. Should you have any queries or need any assistance while on program there will always be someone nearby to help and you should not hesitate to ask any question at all. We are definitely there to make our volunteers have the best possible experience.



Fiji Island Discovery

 
  Health and Safety - Fiji Islands
1If you chose to travel on the group flight you will be travelling with the people who will be your companions on the program.
2Your flight will be met at Nadi airport and we will have a bus to take you to your accommodation and then onto the village you will be working and staying in.
3Our VESA team are with the volunteers in the tiny village overnight and the whole group will stay in the same village together. You will be hosted, with one or two other volunteers in the home a Fijian family whose children attend the local school. Our team leaders are familiar with the village and villagers and all homes have been checked and provided with bedding etc for our group.
4
The home stay ‘mother’ will prepare all your food, the local water supply is clean and drinkable and you will have access to unlimited supplies of bottled water. Each day you will be accompanied to and from the worksites where you have been assigned. You will be accompanied at all times by one of our Group Leaders, and any activities you are involved in will be conducted under the supervision of qualified local tradespeople and/or teaching staff.
5Each day you will be accompanied to and from the work sites where you have been assigned. You will be accompanied at all times by one of our Group Leaders, and any activities you are involved in will be conducted under the supervision of qualified local tradespeople and/or teaching staff.
6All VESA Group Leaders are first aid qualified. You will be located within driving distance of a local medical centre and within reach of major hospitals in Nadi or Suva.
7At the end of the program you will be transferred to the airport and accompanied to your flight. You will travel home with your new friends and a great sense of accomplishment.

“I just wanted to thank you, the VESA staff, as well as the VESA tour leaders for an outstanding job that you do throughout the year, and that you continue to do. We need more people in the world like you guys. The trip was so well organized and Juliana had an amazing time in South Africa. She feels so privileged to have worked with your organization, meet wonderful people during her journey, work with the beautiful children, and volunteer in aiding to make a difference in an individual's life. South Africa and Swaziland are two countries that Juliana will never forget about; it will forever have a place in her heart. As a mother, it was with great comfort to know that she was in good hands with the VESA organization and every time I needed a question to be answered you were patiently there for me along with VESA. I would highly recommend your organization to all those who are willing to visit a beautiful country and partake in volunteer work.”
Cheers to you all,
Franca (mother of Juliana C)

Downloads

Videos


Trip Extension


A Week in Paradise

VESA is currently running a Turtle Conservation Program with a group of intrepid volunteers. This is an awesome way to get more out of your volunteering experience and be a part of an initiative to increase the population of the native sea turtles and to restore the reef to its native state...all taking place on a stunning tropical island. This place is paradise!

More Information +

Achievements


Season Report NH 2017

Season Report NH 2016


  • Achievement

    Construction

    Fifty village primary schools fully refurbished (inside and outside) with composts and incinerators.

    [+]
  • Achievement

    Community Assistance

    Three bus stops constructed for school children's safety.

    [+]
  • Achievement

    Education

    Fifteen thousand hours of face to face tutoring

    [+]

Go on, step into an adventure that will change your life!

Apply Now

Fiji Islands Project Location