FIJI 2012

Volunteer Zuleika Watts of Australia with children from the Holiday School

in Mokani Village


Bula everybody! It has been a wonderful month

with many successes. Holiday school has come

and gone and all our volunteers have done a

tremendous job. The response from our host

schools have been positive and I would like to

say a warm thank you on our Fiji Team’s behalf

to our volunteers for taking heart into it and

making it grand. In this edition, we have some

walks done memory lane along with how some

of our current projects are going. So please

read on and always keep connected!


Karishma Nandan

Information Manager


*Volunteer Stories

-A Life Changing Experience by

Megan Leishman

-A Trip Down Memory Lane by

Bernadette Bajorek

*Projects Update

-Community Village Project

Tutoring 101

-Holiday School Success

*Photo Page – Holiday School


*Keep Connected

A Life Changing Experience by Megan Leishman

My name is Megan Leishman and I am from Utah

in the USA. Last month, I was blessed to have a

once in a lifetime opportunity to go make a

difference and volunteer in one of the most

beautiful places in the world, Fiji! The people in

Fiji are like none I have ever met. They are so

welcoming, caring, loving and friendly. Not once

did I feel uncomfortable walking around the

streets or going into the villages. I had never felt

more at home. The most meaningful and best

part of my trip was my placement at the Saravi

Kindergarten. At the Saravi Kindergarten, I was

working with four and five-year-old children.

Before my arrival, I did not know what to expect.

However, looking at the pictures on the Projects

Abroad website from the other volunteers, it

looked like the schools were pretty well off. The

kids had uniforms, they were in a normal

classroom environment with chairs and desks,

and the class size was the normal average of 30

to 40 students.

A Life Changing Experience by Megan Leishman

The first time I saw Saravi, I was at a loss for words. Saravi did

not have much at all. The school was very small with no window

or door coverings. There were no chairs or desks, and it only had

about 20 students aged between one and five. I knew that this

experience was going to change my life forever in so many

different ways.

Over the next 9 days me and the other volunteers helped the

kids work on their ABCs, Numbers, Colors, and there English and

Hygiene. We also played games and did helpful activities like

reading them stories and coloring with shapes and animals. I

was so impressed with how well the kids caught on to

everything and how much they had already known. After school

was over, we started on our main project. Painting the school!

Inside we painted each square a different color so that it was

bright and fun for the kids! The outside we painted dark blue

and light blue! We had such great team work on getting it all

done and most of all we had fun!

A Life Changing Experience by Megan Leishman

I want to thank a few people for making my

experience everything I dreamed of. First off

SARAVI!! You guys are the most amazing people

I have ever met! I learned so much from you

and gained so much wisdom and love from

each and everyone of you. Teacher Ma and

Teacher Milli, I admire you for never giving up

on those kids and giving them a chance to learn

and have a future. The parents, you guys are

really the ones who are brave and special. You

all took such good care of us and made sure we

were okay and had our snacks and most of all

you made sure we all had a smile on our faces.

Each and everyone of you kids, teachers,

parents, brothers and sisters of the kids all

made a difference in my life in your own little

ways and you will each have a piece of my

heart and I will carry you everywhere I go in

this life. I love you Saravi!

I loved Fiji so much and my experience

was so amazing, I have joined the

Projects Abroad Alumni Team to help

me stay involved and to help me save

to come back. I plan to come back in

April of 2013 to stay longer and do

more to make a difference. I don’t

believe in goodbyes, so for now Fiji, I

will see you again soon!!

A Trip Down Memory Lane By Bernadette Bajorek

I arrived in Fiji on the 8th of September

2011 and started my volunteer work at

Nadi Muslim Kindergarten, where I spent 3

months every morning in the Kindergarten,

playing, teaching and supervising the kids.

At first I was surprised at how little

materials there was and that the children

have lessons and learn languages at this

age, but I started to learn with them which

was a great experience for me.

Since returning home I have begun

working in a Kindergarten here in Austria

in my home town, and using the invaluable

experience I gained in Fiji I now have a lot

of ideas which I can convert into my daily

life with the children I take care of in


The children at Nadi Muslim Kindergarten who are all aged

4-5 years old, having fun at play time!

A Trip Down Memory Lane By Bernadette Bajorek

Projects Abroad’s Desk Officer Oripa Cavalevu and Country

Assitant Manager Sophie Birtwistle with Volunteers Kira

Crawford-Brooks (Australia) and Bernadette Bajorek


Not only did I enjoy my volunteer work with

Projects Abroad, but also the weekends and

afternoons with other volunteers and local

people whom I have met and became friends

with during my place of residence in Fiji. We

spent lots of great moments at the beach, on

islands, bars and clubs, the office, families and

friends houses which I love looking back to.

These moments and experiences are all great


In my last month I also completed a 14 hour

English course which was really great. In the

beginning I was not too motivated but through

my teacher Prashneel Goundar’s enthusiasm, I

really enjoyed the lessons. Grammar,

pronunciation, speeches, exams and a lot of

talking was part of daily program!

In the end I learnt so much through and my time

in Fiji really was unforgettable!

Community Village Project - Tutoring 101


Dratabu Village in Nadi has two volunteers

currently completing their projects. Manuel Ramos

of Portugal and Christopher Church from UK and

they are both doing their very best to help the

children of Vuniyasi District School. Majority of the

children attending Vuniyasi District School from

classes 1 to 8 and are of age raging from 6 to 13


Manuel is helping in the school as part of his

project and has taken the initiative to tutor

children who were the slow learners from class

three. While speaking to him, he told me that one

of the children had miss most of her class two and

was so shy and far behind that she did nothing but

smiled at him on the first day, now 4 days later, she

has advanced amazingly and is speaking to him.

Top: Chris Church with children at lunchtime, Middle: Manuel

Ramos with his class, Bottom: Manuel and Chris with their host


As always, children look forward to the school

holidays and the children of Namaka Public

School in Nadi and the children of Ratu

Ravuama Memorial School in Mokani looked

forward to the Holiday School.

Volunteers geared up for the two weeks where

they would be in control of their classes and

planned all the fun activites they could do. To

facilitate this, we went over the Holiday School

Handbook in a special workshop outlining

various activites and general curriculum of the

Fijian Education System.


The two weeks was spent doing some

community work and classes with the

children in Mokani while at Namaka Public

School; it was classes all day with dun

learning. Volunteers did a commendable job

by keeping the children occupied and eager

for each new day.

Both locations had successful language

classes and in Suva, there were three

different languages learnt by the children. We

were fortunate to have French, German and

Italian volunteers for this. Sadly, all good

things come to an end and on the second

Thursday, a certificate presentation ceremony

was held with children arriving in their best

with smiles to received their certificates. All

were eager for the next Holiday School!


As usual there are lots of ways to stay connected and chat to past, present and future volunteers, a

great way to share stories, adventures and give advice………so why not join us on Facebook

today…Projects Abroad Fiji-The official group!

For updates, tales and adventures about what’s going on in Fiji at the moment

follow our blogs to learn more about volunteer’s experiences and exciting

events in this Country!

Our monthly newsletter is a great way to catch up on tales of Fiji, filled with stories and pictures of

volunteer updates and lots more!!

Follow us on Twitter for regular updates on events , activities and what our in country

volunteers are doing!

A special thank you to all those who contributed pictures and articles to this month’s newsletter, if you

have any ideas for following months or would like to become more involved in the newsletters please

feel free to contact me at:


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