Community Development Island Expedition in Fiji

Help a Fijian community implement livelihood strategies and protect the environment.

Program Overview

Help community members to implement important livelihood strategies and protect the environment for future generations. Assist with key infrastructure construction projects, set up community-based income generation initiatives, volunteer in local pre-schools and schools, and work on studies that inform important environmental management decisions on this exciting and varied expedition project.

This expedition requires a full-time commitment. Depending on your length of stay, volunteers can expect to have a few free weekends to explore the surrounding islands and local sights.

Where you'll stay

You will be based on Caqalai island, approximately 1 hour by boat from the Viti Levu Mainland and Nausori Town. Accommodation is in shared (mixed gender) huts with shared bathroom facilities at the field station. There is rain water available for cooking, drinking, and washing. Ground water is pumped for other ablutions.  Careful water conservation is necessary and water may be rationed during droughts. Basic flush toilet facilities are available, and participants share base duties, including cleaning and other chores.

Activities & Training

Things to do

Volunteers are welcome to organize side trips for their free time or before/after their project experience. Any associated costs and travel expenses are not included in the project fee and need to be factored into your budget. Fiji is a beautiful and exotic destination with picturesque white sand beaches, world class dive sites, and Fiji’s famous culture of hospitality and warmth. As an island nation, many activities are water based! Starting locally, just a short boat ride away, volunteers can visit the famous pod of dolphins residing all year round on Moon Reef, hike into forests and swim in hidden waterfalls and visit one of Fiji’s famous island resorts.

With many local dive shops in the area, volunteers can complete a PADI Open Water course and take advantage of the endless diving opportunities available.

Fiji’s capital city, Suva, is only a few hours from all our project sites, known for its relaxed atmosphere, energetic nightlife, large farmers market and atmospheric port. The old historical capital of Fiji, Levuka, makes for an interesting day trip and is accessible by ferry and small boat and located on the nearby Ovalau Island.



Orientation and Training

Staff in the field will provide training on the skills required, but you may benefit from learning more about local history, culture and customs before you travel.

Good to know

Application requirements

Volunteers need not have any specific skills; just an enthusiasm and passion for contributing to the project and the local partner objectives. Volunteers need to be physically fit and healthy as they will be hiking long distances daily. As a result of the basic living conditions, volunteers need to be flexible and able to work well in teams and with people from a variety of cultures and backgrounds.

Volunteers will need to be fluent in English.

Health and safety

The nearest emergency medical facilities are located in Korovou Town (40 minutes away from base by car). For major emergencies volunteers are taken to Suva Private Hospital in Suva. We have emergency procedures for all foreseeable events. The staff are first aid trained and you will receive a safety briefing on arrival.

Please note we cannot provide specific medical advice. Please consult your primary care provider (doctor, GP, etc.) or visit a travel clinic for further information.

Volunteers are asked to be forthcoming about any health issues before you begin the program as failure to do so may have serious consequences for the individual, the staff and other volunteers, including possible removal from the project.


Logistics

Volunteers meet on the project start date at 7:30AM at Bamboo Backpackers on Newtown Beach (also known as Wailoaloa, Martintar, Fiji).

We recommend you book your flight for the day before the project start date and we suggest volunteers stay at one of the following accommodation options:

Bamboo Backpackers (meeting point)
33 Wasawasa Road, New Town Beach
+679 672 2225

Smugglers Cove
Wasawasa Road
+679 672 6578

Nadi Bay Resort
Wailoaloa Road, Martintar
+679 672 3599

Additional Information

VISAS:
In order for you to enter the country with the correct visa for your volunteering duration, it is very important that you take into account the following requirements:

For volunteers intending on staying in Fiji for less than three months:
When entering the country, please state that you are volunteering with us. You will be issued a temporary 14 day visa that we will then convert into a Limited Authority to Work visa. To do this you will need to provide a staff member at your welcome meeting with:

  • Your Passport

  • Proof of your departure flight (scheduled for departure in under 3 months time)

  • $190 Fijian Dollars (approximately $105USD)

  • Hard copy of your Criminal Record Check

For volunteers or interns intending on staying in Fiji for more than three months:
When entering the country, please state that you are volunteering with us. You will be issued a temporary 14 day visa that we will then convert into a Short Term Work visa. To do this, you will need to provide a staff member at your welcome meeting with:

  • Your Passport

  • Proof of your departure flight (scheduled for departure in under 6 months time)

  • Hard copy of your Criminal Record Check

  • $670 Fjiian Dollars (approximately $364USD)

Please be aware that due to immigration requirements for volunteers, failure to adhere to any of these requirements may restrict your ability to take part in our program and/or significantly reduce your time in Fiji.

AFSNext seal of approval

This program is implemented by a trusted organization within the AFSNext partnership community and has our full endorsement. While not managed or operated by AFS, it maintains the same exceptional quality standards, which are set by a network of experienced international non-profits operating within the international education field.