Think Pacific

Think Pacific

About

Think Pacific is a UK social enterprise and registered Fijian charity with over 10 years of supporting Fijian Government Ministries, NGOs and business partners to achieve ethical, responsible and sustainable development, whilst allowing students to have a self-developing and rewarding experience.

Founded
2009

Reviews

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Aysha
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Think Pacific Virtual Internship has been an incredible opportunity in contributing to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and Fiji’s National Development Plan. This gave me invaluable insight into some of the big challenges that NGOs tackle which requires innovation to drive changes within communities.

The best part is of this internship is having the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and the challenges within Fiji and implementing everything you’ve learnt into a sustainable action project - gaining plentiful transferrable skills.

Highly rewarding experience and another plus is you have the opportunity to make global connections!

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Holly
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The ability to choose the organisation you want to create an action project for enabled me to choose a cause related to my career aspirations and personal interests. This meant I could really focus my internship to my personal interests, instilling a passion for the work I undertook.

The online virtual portals provided a plethora of information about all aspects of Fiji and Fijian life. This was a great way to feel immersed in the culture without physically being in Fiji itself. I personally found this to be the most interesting and resourceful area of the internship.

Furthermore, I built a good network with my intern cohort and mentors, using group chats and zoom calls.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Using IT programmes such as zoom and slack was an unfamiliar process, which I found challenging but worthwhile.
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Tara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

When I first began the internship I wondered how it would work being virtual and all!.. but I immediately became engaged and emotionally invested in many of the partner organizations causes. The Think Pacific team and the Guest Speakers are so passionate and enthusiastic about the cause - it is really inspirational. I was impressed by how many resources and information is available. I learnt some brand new skills through the informative skills series and developed my own personal skills - I felt more confident for completing the internship. My mentor was always there to give me support and feedback no matter how silly the question! Overall a really rewarding experience!

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Aditi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This experience was an eye-opener in every way. It introduced me to a rich culture like Fiji and inspired me to know more about it. The program itself gave us a lot of flexibility and scope to grow as a person and learn more about the country. The best part of the program was the love and support of the Think Pacific team. Their passion and dedication to the cause made it more worthwhile and a fun activity to work on. Involving myself with the projects made me feel like a served a purpose for the betterment of the Fijian people. Definitely, an experience to remember for me.

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Molly-Rose
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

During lockdown, this opportunity with Think Pacific gave me a chance to contribute further than my own community, and for that I am grateful. It felt amazing to be part of a bigger picture, while the world was going through such a hard time. I felt incredibly proud of what I contributed to the organisation. My mentor brought the best out of my knowledge and I finished the internship feeling very confident. There were times when I felt over qualified for this virtual internship, but on reflection, that is what actually happened what that this internship give me confidence in my knowledge. I now feel strong in my self which gives me the boost to grasp more opportunities.

What would you improve about this program?
I would improve this program by giving those that gave online presentations and talks, some training in how to deliver online. It's so difficult to engage online audiences, and I think with some training the team would excel.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

Choosing a volunteering program is a difficult process; there are lots of different ones out there, all focusing on slightly different things. I decided on Think Pacific due to their connections with the Fijian government and the process of choosing the villages that teams enter. I have always been worried that programs would be seen as a means of 'self-improvement' rather than volunteering as a genuine thing, but with TP, this could not be further from the point.

The whole organization works as one in Fiji and in the UK.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Think Pacific came into my university and gave a presentation on their programs. With attendance numbers high, I soon realized that this organization was something I would like to be part of. Think Pacific is an independent program from the university, but when you first sign up to TP, you are quickly added to the Facebook page and you are welcomed into the big TP family. If I ever had any questions, there are TP employees you can ask, so I never felt alone or overwhelmed.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

If you go out to Fiji, there's a phrase that is said, called 'Fiji Time'. Its meaning comes from the slow paced life which brings you back into reality, time away from your phone and the stresses of education. The time I spent in the village was life changing; the time goes by so quickly that you want to relive everyday twice. I wish I knew before going out to constantly live in the moment, to leave my phone in my rucksack and just live and be free.

I would highly recommend this to anyone to go on a volunteering trip, as being away from your phone brings you back down to earth, reminding you of the things that are important in life and that you can live without phones and internet.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

An average TP volunteering week is busy and tiring but amazing.

Monday to Friday, you are at school from 8 in the morning, completing your '1 to 1s' up until lunch time. The afternoons are where the children are free to go wild; they have an hour of teaching after lunch and then straight into house cup; a competition between the school house, it brings out everyones crazy side! Finally the last hour is sport, focusing on the skills required in each sport, the kids get sweaty and tired and that's job well done!

Everyday there is morning and afternoon briefing, before and after school, just to make sure that everyone is happy and can talk about any problems they may have had that day. The evenings are always busy, from mat weaving to billo making, and you cannot forget weekly quiz night! The evenings are a great way for the team to bond and immerse yourself into village life.

Saturdays are excursion days, waterfalls, treks, bili bili rafting... It will always be fun!

Finally, Sunday is the rest day. Church with your family and resting and sleeping in the afternoon. It sounds boring now, but you will need that rest time to make sure you are ready to go for the next school week!

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear before going was whether or not I would get on with the other volunteers I would meet in the village. Before you go into the village, TP sends you to a resort where time is used to bond and get to know everyone in your team. These few days really helped me to understand that everyone was there for the same reason: they are passionate about teaching and want to experience an amazing trip in a beautiful country. You obviously gravitate towards different groups of people... It's only natural, but you have to remember that everyone who is in Fiji wants to be there to make a difference.

What was the best part of your trip?

My favorite part about my time in the village was being able to live like a local. Myself and the other volunteer I lived with decided that we would say yes to everything. We ended up experiencing little joys that others did not. I was able to sit in on choir practice, having a sing with my Nene (my host mother) and the other village women. We were able to sit and help our Momo (my host father) dry out the Yaqona plant, that we later on went onto drink. Even when you are tired, my advice is to say yes anyway, Fijians are smiley, happy, joyful people who are always up for a good laugh. By helping them and joining them in their daily lives, the relationship will grow and become much stronger.