Sunday 7th August 2016
As we say our emotions farewells to Fiji, we can look back and reflect upon an incredible, life changing experience for our volunteers who certainly made a telling impact on the lives of the children they engaged with and supported throughout the duration of this discovery work placement experience in Fiji.
The group received a traditional farewell from students and staff from Ratu Filise School, this included cake, biscuits and exchanging gifts. It felt like a celebration of achievement, and the start of something special.
It was a day to look back on with pride, pleasure and a sense of fulfilment. Our mission from our conception has been to have a positive impact on the lives of both our volunteers and partnered schools, the progress from both during our two week stay was great to witness.
Our experience began on the 18th June 2016 in a meeting room at Southampton University. Five strangers met and bonded almost immediately, becoming close and left us having developed life long friendships and memories to cherish.
This not all that they left with. Confidence levels of all had increased due to the adaptation of life outside of their comfort zone. Some had conquered fears and inhibitions, doing things which they never thought they could do.
All have demonstrated competence within the classroom as teachers / assistants, working with children who present certain barriers, such as not speaking English as their first language and coming from very under privileged backgrounds.
Our volunteers coped with this tremendously and implemented teaching methods and strategies to support the development of literacy and numeracy. Working in classes of up to 30 children they displayed maturity and know how which led to positive outcomes in the students communication and social interaction.
Our final day as meant a final assessment for our volunteers. They would be performing their micro teaching assessments to one another as evidence for their qualification. After the two weeks that they have had applying their knowledge, they now felt very confident about the prospect of teaching their peers.
The lessons that were delivered were engaging and adapted to meet the needs of individuals, they were great! We were happy to provide the news to all our our volunteers / trainee teachers that they had passed this element of the qualification.
Fiji has provided us with fun, laughter, smiles, memories, adventure, community, cultural insight, as well as opportunity. The opportunity to make further impact next year during a longer stay in the village.
This is not goodbye to our current group of volunteers, all have shown and demonstrated the core values that we look for meaning they will become ambassadors to our organisation and have the opportunity to come back and gain further experiences with us in the future.
It is a future that promises great things and if you are reading this blog and have a desire to make an impact whilst discovering a paradise island then we would love to hear from you!
An island that's easy to get too but very hard to leave. Bula Vinaka Fiji.