Alumni Spotlight: Alice Harris

Alice volunteering in Fiji with GVI

Why did you decide to volunteer with GVI in Fiji?

Alice: Well initially I decided where I wanted to go rather than the actually company I wanted to go with. I did a bit of research (as much as an eager teenager would do) and decided I liked the look of GVI. The information was very helpful and they were quick to answer any of my questions. They also didn’t charge an application fee which was a bonus.

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

Alice: The mornings were rather early, but with the sun beaming off the crystal blue waters it wasn’t a challenge at all getting out of bed. We were usually on the boat by 7.30am and off to the school. The goal was to do one-on-one reading with each student in your class so that usually took most of the morning. Volunteers are there to aid the primary teacher so you weren’t responsible for running the entire class. The children absolutely love arts and crafts so volunteers would bring supplies from base to school each day. Another activity the children loved was sports and in particularly swimming! It really was up to the individual volunteer as to how they wanted to run their class, but a huge amount of support is offered by the education leader (Lauren) and other volunteers.

Back on base a duty roster is drawn up for all the volunteers to help out with. You are also assigned to a cooking team which you generally have to do once a week depending on the numbers. Basically, you work as a team to keep everything clean and tidy thus for making happy volunteers and staff.

Group of GVI volunteers in Fiji

How has this experience helped you grow personally and professionally?

Alice: This experience has had a huge impact on my life personally and I’m sure for the other volunteers as well. I had wanted to become a teacher before I went and this experience has only made that feeling stronger. It has helped me with the decision of moving to the UK next year to work abroad for two years. It has also helped me realize that there are so many opportunities out there that you just need to grab onto. Especially being so young it really helped me find myself and build lifelong friends.