- 75% of children in Fiji live below the poverty line.
- Only 50% of children have adequate sanitation and fresh water.
- Just 5% of children gain an early years education.
The charity Think Pacific is working to provide increased opportunities for children. They replenish school resources, provide training and help rebuild essential facilities. I need your help to dedicate a month of this summer to volunteer with Think Pacific, working to increase standards in education, extracurricular activities and sports.
Who AM I?
Bula Vinaka! or Hello everyone! My name is Alejandro Rodriguez and I am 19 years old. I am currently studying the first year of Computer Systems Engineering at The University of Manchester. Since I arrived in Manchester I've been keen to get involved with volunteering opportunities to support the local community. I have been a mentor for educational charity Debate Mate, whose aim is to help children in disadvantaged areas improve their confidence by teaching debate. Also, I have taken part in a scheme of Intergenerational Volunteering to organise parties and social outings for older people in Manchester.
During my volunteering for Think Pacific, I'm excited to use the experience I've developed through my previous volunteering to make a personal difference to disadvantaged children in Fiji.
Fiji is a small archipelago country located in the South Pacific Ocean, approximately 2000 km from New Zealand's north island. Suva is the capital of Fiji.
Map of Fiji - Google Maps
Think Pacific Foundation (registered charity number 1162190) is a small charity which works in remote villages, where over one third of children grow up in poverty and where over 200 schools were damaged during Cyclone Winston in February 2016.
Think Pacific Logo
What will i be doing?
When I arrive in Fiji, I will travel to a rural town where I will be spending the duration of the project. Once there, I will be immersing myself in Fijian culture and I will be working at a local primary school teaching Fijian children English and Mathematics.
I will use the debating experience I have gained teaching at Debate Mate in order to share my debating and public speaking skills with the children. My aim will be to improve their confidence in speaking in public while at the same time having fun playing games.
Finally, I will also get active with the children in the afternoon by playing sports with them, such as volleyball, football or hockey.
Afternoon sport activities with the school children
During my one month project, I will experience tough and challenging conditions, as I will be living far from all the amenities I take for granted back in Spain and in the UK. For instance, I will not have access to electricity, cellular data, nor access to running water (I will have to take cold water bucket showers). Essentially I will immerse myself in a real Fijian rural village. Through my teaching I will be delivering a government backed programme to inspire children living in hardship. I shall also donate vital school and sports resources to enable our good work to continue long term.
Through the project, my aim is to gain a deeper insight into life in the developing world, and use skills gained through education, such as working as an English teacher in Spain, or as a mentor in the social enterprise Debate Mate, to make a personal difference to the children. I hope to immerse myself into local culture, challenge myself and contribute to making a difference globally.
One of the pupils from a local Fijian school
I am aiming to raise £965 to cover the costs of my volunteering project in Fiji . Finally, in order to raise awareness about the current issues in Fiji, I will be taking part in the Great Manchester 10K run that will be taking place on Sunday, May 20th. I will be running for such great cause after so much effort training!
Great Manchester Run - May 20th 2018 - I am running for Fiji!
Why should you donate?
I will be working in a team of around twenty volunteers. This means the children's learning experience will be greatly enhanced and there will be huge benefits from getting the perspectives of many different cultures.By supporting me to take part in a think pacific project, I will be helping in the success of their projects, which see:
- 20,000+ children supported
- 40% increase in literacy
- 15% increase in school attendance
- 40+ teachers trained annually
- 600% increase in sports
- Over 1 million Fijian dollars invested
A typical day in the classroom with a previous female volunteer
Where will the money go?
The minimum amount of money fundraised (that is £407 ) will go to the direct costs of volunteering, such as in-country transport, accommodation and food. In fact, the charity works closely with the Fijian government to ensure this.
The rest of the funding i.e. £558 will be allocated as such:
- £195 - Registration fee
- £165 - Project Planning
- £88 - 24/7 Support to Volunteers
- £77 - Expedition Leadership
- £33 - Volunteer Recruitment
Learning activities outside are always welcome!
Hey, I have some fab rewards to thank everyone who donates, whatever the amount you might give. Check them out!
Harry, Think Pacific founder, with a group of local Fijian schoolchildren
Find ME here
Follow me on social media to find out how the fundraising is going!
Follow Think Pacific to keep up with the updates of the charity too!
Help FIJIAN CHILDREN succeed!
- You don't need to give money to help me succeed! Please share this project with anyone you think would support the project – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, in a chat over the fence or on your blog.
- In fact, share it with everyone you know as I think it's a great idea, and the more people who know about it, the more likely we are to make this work out brilliantly.
- And I know I said you don't need to give money to help the charity, but I'd love it if you did! Please sponsor me and help make this happen.