We would like to welcome new staff members joining our Projects Abroad family.
Mere Gaunavou and Colin Tang have joined us in Nadi and Suva offices respectively as Admin Assistants. They are doing a fantastic job and hope them all the best in the coming months.
Marie Fazio has joined our Suva office as the Assistant Manager – Suva. She has been a volunteer with Projects Abroad Fiji and knows how to relate to volunteers. She is also a great person and will be a valuable member of our Suva team.
All the very best to our new staff and great work to Projects Abroad Fiji Team. Keep up the great work!
It is the second day for Chelsea Ortiz, our American volunteer, at Gospel Kindergarten. When I went to visit her and speak to her supervising teacher, she was making jewellery and playing with the morning class.
The children have really gotten close to her on the first day! The girls were playing with her hair and t rying their best to braid it and others were busy making a necklace for her.
The boys are a bit more shy around her and were playing separately from the girls. I am sure that they will warm up to her by the end of the week. She is great teacher and is doing really well! All the best Chelsea, I am sure your experience will be great with those adorable children!
I am 45 years old pre-school teacher from Norway. I have 2 grown up children, and I’m a grandma for a little boy on 15 months.
In January I decided to take a break from my job and family in Norway, and I went to Fiji for working as a volunteer at St. Joseph the Worker Primary school/kindergarten in Nakasi.
My stay in Fiji has given me a lot of experiences, and good values for life. I have learned a lot of myself, culture, people, religions, new perspective on life.
My job as volunteer teacher in Fiji was very interesting and new experiences for me to discover. I see the differences between our school/kindergartens system in both ways.
It was a catholic school, so I learn about their religion too. But the children were coming from different religions, not only Catholics.
I think the school/kindergarten were happy to have me. The teacher college was very including and caring about me from the first moment, with welcome ceremony for new teachers at the school during the first week….
We taught them Norwegian songs, fairytales in Norwegians and English…and do outdoors activities and healthy week…and we get welcome hug and kiss from the children every morning we come to the kindergarten.
We have a good relation to the children, colleges and the parents. They are open-minded people and easy going people to know. I like people there and their good mood and their smile.
It’s my first time as volunteer abroad, so I was probably the oldest “grandma” volunteer here in Fiji at this moment.
I got a life in Fiji in almost 3 months, and I never regret, it’s a new life experience for me and I have linking friends there for life.
I was in Fiji for 2 months volunteering as a teacher at Nadi District School and Nadi Airport School. It was an amazing experience! Everything from my warm, and homely host family, to my fun and diverse group of coworkers exceeded my expectations.
Every week at school was interesting and exciting; the kids were great and the teacher I worked with was fantastic! Not only was my teacher a great coworker but she was also a great friend to have, as she taught me a lot about Fiji, and also set me up with some cool opportunities to travel and see some interesting things.
After a week of work, the weekends were always exciting, as the volunteers would always get together and plan some sort of unique and entertaining excursion.
By the end of my two months, I had spent weekends at resorts on the main island, resorts in the Yasawa Islands, on boats out sailing or surfing around the unbelievable reefs, or at the infamous Beachcomber Island.
Each weekend was more fun than the last, and the relationships I built with my fellow volunteers were amazing. I now know people in many different countries around the world, and I’ve already met up with some of them since Fiji. The experience was a perfect blend of carefree fun in the sun, mixed with rewarding work, that I hope made a difference in many people’s lives
I know it made a huge difference in mine. I learned some incredible things about life, as well as many things about myself.
I was fortunate enough to join a school trip to a village on one of Fiji’s smaller islands, where I was able to see how some of the Fijian people live.
It was an incredible experience, I observed a community who survives without money, growing, raising or fishing for all of their own food.
It was incredible to see these people, who have close to no assets, enjoying life more than most North Americans do.
It was experiences like these that made my two months in Fiji an amazing and rewarding experience, and it was experiences like these that sent me home from Fiji a completely different, more appreciative and more worldly person.
Blog wonderfully written by Kevin Schreiber - Canada....
As we all know that our second school term is about to begin and the thus it is the last days of holiday school. Our volunteers wanted the children of Suva Primary School not to forget their experiences and lessons and decided to take the children on an excursion.
We started our day boarding the Rewa Street bus with our Teachers, Mr Tuima and Mrs Tuilanda along with parents who have come to help us manage the excited children. We got off and walked our way to Fiji Broadcasting Commission (FBC) where we all had a chance to see how the news is produced, meet our radio announcers and stand along the green screen.
Following this and having alot of excited chatter, we made our way to the Fiji Museum. The children went wild here as what they had been learning in our history books came alive for them to see. They asked alot of questions and for some of them it was their first visit to our Museum.
We ended our day back at the school as the teachers and we rested due to the long day, the children full of zeal and laughter beelined to the playground - so much energy!
Thank you children and teachers or Suva Primary School and our wonderful volunteers for this unforgetable experience. :)
Since I am living with an Indian family, I was lucky to be invited to a traditional Indian wedding, which was conducted in a rural place in Nadi known as Tongo. There were many Indian women dressed in colourful Saris. I had to wear a Sari too and it was a big deal for me since I had no clue how to put it on.
Anina on the left looking beautiful in her sari.
During the party, the people were dancing, eating Indian delicacies and drinking cava. I really enjoyed the food which was quite spicy but delicious! It was a three day event with lots of merry making. I had only watched these weddings in Bollywood movies so witnessing it was a really nice experience!!
Blog and photos by Anina Schweighauser- Switzerland
Upon reflection of my two month volunteer teaching placement in Nadi, Fiji with Projects Abroad, I realize that while I was a teacher, I also participated in a lot of learning myself. A Fijian classroom is quite different than a Canadian one, but with the help of my students, I adapted and was able to teach with confidence. I introduced an overarching theme of FUN learning to my Class 3 at Mount St. Mary’s School, trying to engage students as much as possible in the material.
The Class threes really enjoyed and took a keen interest in Environmental Science, especially when we went outside and learned about the parts of a tree, and did paintings about elements of the water cycle.
Fiji is an indescribably beautiful country, and I was fortunate to have such a backdrop to illustrate examples of Science! Through my placement at Mount St. Mary’s, I also witnessed first hand the example of Fijian Pride! Every Friday morning, Prefects of the school raised the Fijian Flag and I watched and listened as hundreds of students sang the National Anthem at the top of their lungs. I learned how integral religion is in Fijian culture as we prayed multiple times a day at School and recited the Rosary weekly.
Overall, the most memorable part of Class 3 is the music! I had no problem keeping my students quiet when I introduced a song or rhyme that I grew up with, and I would hear those songs every following day! The girls especially liked to use the tune of “Baby” by Justin Bieber and “Coconut Tree” by Mohombi to invent their own songs.
Experiencing Fiji as a volunteer gave me a deeper insight to Fijian life than just being a tourist. Yes, I got to see the stunning white sand beaches and palm trees, but by living in Fiji I got to eat Fijian food for 3 meals a day, live with a wonderful host family, take public transportation, meet volunteers from all over the world who have become my close friends, and even attend a Hindi wedding, which one of my colleagues invited me to!
Volunteering, as opposed to being a tourist, made my stay in Fiji very rewarding. I was very welcomed in Fiji, by my family, other volunteers who immediately invite everyone to participate in weekend activities together, and even by parents of my students who would stop me if they saw me on the street to say “Bula Miss Heather!” and smile.
The decision to Volunteer in Fiji was easily the best decision I’ve ever made, and I would like to thank everyone both at home in Canada and in the “Projects Abroad Family” in Fiji for their support.
This blog has kindly been written by Heather Carroll
The students of Suva Primary are eagerly looking forward to each day of their holiday school as our volunteers bring with them unique learning experiences.
Monika Obradovic (Swiss), Mailien Wiegand (German), Mathilde Fritzboger (Danish), Fylicia Cote (French Canandian), Lukas Vorwerk (German), Allison Gilks (Canadian), Damien Streiff (Swiss), Kathryn Ven Dan Bosch (Australian) are all happy and eager to impart their konwledge to the students.
It has been a great start to this amazing week as students come in everyday to enjoy the copany of our volunteers.
Each year we have more than 150 volunteers grace our shores and our hearts. They work with children who have stolen their hearts and embedded themselves in their souls. Our volunteers come with the aim to help the children and to learn our Fijian culture. They see the difference in our education system and in some cases, they have aided the school in ways that they will always be remembered as Projects Abroad Volunteers.
Yesterday, we signed our first official Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Education. We have been registering all our volunteers but now with this milestone we have the support of our Education Ministry. Mr Bavono said in his statement yesterday that there is a great need for our volunteers as they will help us improve our system by broadening the horizon of each individual child.
Indeed, the key to success is not wealth or where you come from. It is hard work, hard work and alot of sacrifices. This is the message that our volunteers bring with them with the hopes that someday the children they inflence in Fiji is visit them in their home countries as successful individuals.
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