Amy Marshall - General Care Projects in Fiji
I volunteered with Projects Abroad in Jamaica twice and I wanted to go somewhere that I may never get to go again, I looked through the destinations on the Projects Abroad website and immediately was drawn to Fiji.
My arrival in Fiji
My only reservation was how far away Fiji is from England, this did not put me off because when I stepped off the plane in Nadi the three flights were worth every moment! I got on a bus to Suva and then was met by a member of staff and taken to my host family! My host family were the nicest people in the world and so friendly!
I had two little sisters who still mean the world to me, I tried to help with homework and watch movies with them. I never felt homesick once! I used to sit with the family and watch the TV and have a glass of wine with my host mum. I was scared that I would not like the food but everything was delicious.
At Suva Special School
For five weeks I worked in Suva special school. This is a school for children with mental and physical disabilities. I fell in love with the children and the way they were so happy. I never wanted to leave this school. I would go to the kitchen where the older children would be cooking the lunches for the teachers and students, I tried to help but I am very bad at cooking and the students would often have to show me how to do it correctly!
I looked forward to going to school every day and seeing the children’s faces light up, I was called ‘teacher Amy’ and I loved it when the children asked for help, I felt needed and like I was making a difference. This is the reason I came to Fiji to see the difference I made to even just one person’s life.
When the school holidays were active, I was still in Fiji. Projects Abroad organised a holiday school in the close-by Mokani village, this was to be run by volunteers. I took part in the holiday school for a week and it was not just educational, it was fun. There were six volunteers in my class and we did various activities such as talent shows, fashion shows, games. We taught them about the different countries which we came from, I found this interesting as some German volunteers sang the German national anthem, I now know this! While we were in the village we painted the village hall, that gave us chance to speak to the villagers and to see the difference we were making to this community.
My weekends in Fiji
Suva, to me is the best place in Fiji, it was quite rainy but on weekends we got to escape the rain and go to paradise. I visited four islands and each time we got a traditional Fijian song once we arrived to the islands (by boat as this is the main way of travelling). The beaches in Fiji are just as you see in the pictures. Some of the islands you can walk around in about 10 minutes and they are your own little get-away for a weekend! My favourite island was Beachcomber, it’s known as the party island in Fiji and the sunset from here is amazing!
Fiji – an amazing place to go
I would highly recommend anybody to volunteer in Fiji - your help is vital in this part of the world, which is often just perceived as islands with sandy beaches. Fiji is so much more, you will never feel unwelcome! The Projects Abroad staff in Fiji are always on hand at any time, and are some of the nicest people I have ever met. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be returning to Fiji in the near future!
This volunteer story may include references to working in or with orphanages. Find out more about Projects Abroad's current approach to volunteering in orphanages and our focus on community-based care for children.