Fiji April 2016

 

April 15, 2016 to April 28, 2016

About Fiji
The Fiji archipelago includes 332 islands, with approximately 110 of them inhabited. The island’s population consists of almost 54 percent ethnic Fijian and 36 percent Indian.

Fiji’s mountainous terrain and climate make it conducive for producing sugar, bananas and coconuts for export. Land zoning laws make it illegal for non-ethnic Fijians to own agricultural lands. As a result, almost 65 percent of the population—Indians and impoverished Fijians—rely on subsistence agriculture for survival.

About Habitat Fiji
Since Habitat for Humanity began working in Fiji in 1981, more than 1,000 families on the island have been served. HFH Fiji houses are constructed with concrete block or timber, replacing the traditional bamboo, woven mat and dirt floor homes that do not withstand the rainy season.

Habitat for Humanity in Fiji not only builds much-needed homes, but also helps in disaster response and prevention, provides water and sanitation facilities to help improve health, and works on projects to enable people with disabilities.

The number of people in Fiji living in substandard housing is on the rise, and already reaches 140,000. Over the next 15 years, there is an expected need of more than 30,000 new homes.

Poverty continues to be a problem in Fiji. While official statistics estimate that 31 percent of people live in poverty, the local social services council is under the impression that 60 percent would be a more accurate statistic.

As housing prices are too high for many, families have no choice but to live in accommodation without running water, sanitation facilities, rubbish disposal facilities or electricity.

These vulnerable people were among those hardest hit in 2010, when the category 4 Cyclone Tomas hit Fiji. As well as building new houses, Habitat for Humanity also helps people reconstruct after natural disasters destroy homes.

The way in which Habitat for Humanity in Fiji works allows families to take out loans that are minor and do not create a burden of debt upon the family, but allow them to obtain a home that they would alternatively have no method of acquiring. Families play a part in building their new homes for themselves to drive down costs, and their loan repayments are then used to build homes for other families in need.

Program cost
US$2,070
This cost includes a significant donation to Habitat for Humanity, and it covers the volunteer’s accommodations, meals, in-country transportation and travel medical insurance. Read details.

Itinerary

  • Day 1, typically Friday: Depart for Fiji.
  • Day 2, Saturday: Travel day
  • Day 3, Sunday: Arrival in Nadi.
  • Day 4, Monday: Welcome and orientation; travel to project site accommodation; half day of work.
  • Days 5–8, Tuesday-Friday (typical work days): Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 9 a.m.–4 p.m., with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner; time for team activities.
  • Days 9-10, Saturday-Sunday: Free days with activities in local community; local site seeing.
  • Days 11–13, Monday-Wednesday (work days): Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 9 a.m.–4 p.m., with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner at house; time for team activities; farewell with community.
  • Day 14, Thursday: Early breakfast; travel to Nadi; depart from airport or continue your journey in Fiji.

Note: Trip includes some special events throughout the week; cultural experiences with affiliate staff, such as market tours, museum visits, church, historical sites, etc.

Accommodations
Global Village teams to Fiji can expect to stay at a modest hotel in double occupancy rooms.

Team leader
Ready to join the team? Need more information? Jess Wilson will lead this team in the field. You can contact Jess by email at globalvillagewithjess@gmail.com.

Jess says: “GV trips always humble and inspire me in unexpected ways. When meeting with homeowner families and village leaders in Bisidimo, Ethiopia, everyone expressed immense gratitude for the homes we were working on — specifically the roofs. They were so happy that their children wouldn’t have to deal with their school papers getting wet anymore when it rained.”

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