GVI: Volunteer in Fiji

COVID-19 Program Updates

Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, GVI has decided to offer flexible booking options for some of their upcoming programs. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

Video and Photos

Fun Dive!
Fun Dive!
Fun dive
Fun dive
Caqalai
Caqalai
GVI: Volunteer in Fiji
GVI: Volunteer in Fiji

About

Fiji is a country of over 300 islands. With clear-water beaches, green forest landscapes, and island-lined mountain ranges, it is a destination with vast natural resources. However, climate change and anthropogenic threats are negatively impacting the local biodiversity.

This is a great opportunity to join collaborative efforts to reach long-term sustainable objectives in a variety of GVI run programs. You could assist in community development, education, marine and environmental conservation, or women’s empowerment. Each program measures its impact against the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, and GVI places emphasis on ethical volunteering that empowers all communities, partners, and participants involved.

Highlights
  • Experience life in a country made up of over 300 islands. Gain an understanding of the culture, linguistics, and biodiversity of Fiji.
  • Contribute to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, by assisting in a projects’ short, mid, or long-term objective.
  • Meet people from other parts of the world, make friends, and connect with local communities.
  • Learn valuable skills in conservation, community development, and teaching, working alongside trained field experts.
  • Travel to different islands, enjoy traditional Fiji cuisine, beachfronts, and panoramic views from mountain sides.

GVI has a Community Development Internship in Thailand!


This is an opportunity to learn more about Chiang Mai's local Karen hill tribe culture, gaining intercultural communication skills and valuable teaching experience.

Popular Programs

Gain hands on experience while assisting in a wide range of projects, such as, but not limited to; water and waste management, education, income generation, health awareness, women’s empowerment, and sustainable agriculture. Partnered with the local communities, you will be immersed in Fijian culture, better understanding local dynamics, while also meeting people from other parts of the world.

Support the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water. As you’ll spend a great deal of time diving and swimming on this project, there is the possibility to meet an array of species on your excursions, such as sharks, whales, sting-rays, an array of fish, and a variety of coral reef colonies. Learn to conduct underwater surveys, enhance your scuba diving skills, and experience a new way of life.

Improve your teaching and facilitation skills, by teaming up with local teachers to improve the learning environment of the schools. You will be contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education. Support children’s linguistic, creative, and motor skill development with lessons in English, art, and sports education.

Learn about the gender dynamics within local communities by supporting equal opportunity initiatives in education, and health and wellbeing. By encouraging the skill development of local women, you are supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality, and Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities. In turn, you will have an opportunity to learn about Fiji culture and lifestyle.

Assist with marine preservation efforts on Caqalai Island. The program focuses on coral reef recovery research and the conservation of Fiji’s natural resources. Work alongside expert marine biologists and earn your PADI Coral Reef Research Diver certification. This is a submersive experience to better understand the culture of the country while also connecting with fellow international volunteers.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.53 Rating
based on 19 reviews
  • Impact 8.9
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.1
  • Value 9.2
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 8 of 19
Danielle
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Exactly as I hoped!

This trip was the best of my life! I've done a lot of traveling before this, and since, and nothing can come close to the time I had in Dawasamu. While I was there, the focus was on a new recycling program that was being developed so I spent the majority of my time creating content for that. There was also time spent working in the garden, with building, and even working in the mothers and babies clinic. Something that I've really come to like about GVI over the trips I've taken, is the the way that your volunteer experience is tailored around your interests. Of course this can't always happen, but the organization does its best. There were activity options for our free time, and since we live right in the village, we were very integrated into the community! If community development is your passion- look no further.

Default avatar
Asha
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Silana, Fiji

GVI Silana village, Dawasamu was one of the most eye opening experiences i have possibly ever had...as cheesy as it sounds. It was a refreshing feeling being around people who arn't consumed by technology. Their days consist of human interactions and connecting with each other and themselves through nature with use of their five senses. It was beautiful to see kids who arnt dependant on ipads and iphones and can just BE. You can have nothing in this world but have so much in many other ways and be absolutely happy! As much as i was making a difference for these amazing cheeky kids, they taught me so much more, i am so so thankful for the time that i got in the village and with the people i met that I'll never forget. apart of me will forever stay in Silana. Vinaka vakalevu, sota tale.

What was your funniest moment?
when it was our group A to cook in the kitchen on base and whenever you would cook there were these small lizards that sat on the roof and one fell onto Grace and it was crawling on the top of her head as she was screaming at me to get it off. its defiantly the people you meet that make it worth while!
Read my full story
Danielle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Exactly as I hoped!

This program was one of the best choices I've made. I worked in Community Development in Fiji and this covered a wide range of jobs. For the most part I was helping develop the door to door recycling information package, which explained what to recycle and what was safe to burn. I also spent time working in the community garden, and a few days doing physical work (clearing out a lot, transporting sand bags, etc.). I also even taught in the mothers and babies clinic for a few days. There were a lot of amazing aspects to this placement and aside from the undeniable and direct positive impact that it has on the community, my favorite part was the diversity of tasks. GVI did an amazing job of tailoring what volunteers do to their strong suits and skills. I honestly cannot think of a better way for a young person to spend their time. Travel with an open mind (as these are simpler living conditions than what you're used to), and I can guarantee you'll have an experience you will never forget. I can't wait for my next project!

Default avatar
Pauline
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Marine conservation on Caqalai - go there!

I‘ve been participating in this project for two months and I enjoyed every single day! The island where the project is located is very small but a real paradise. The dive sites around it are very beautiful as well; during the project you will have plenty of time to see how great they are because there is at least one dive per day for everybody!. I‘m very glad that I had the opportunity to be a part of the GVI community and the great important work they are doing. And I’m especially grateful for all the amazing people I met there and who made my experience a very funny, unique and unforgettable one. Sometimes, it can be a long day on base but the knowing that you are actually making a difference is worth every effort!
I can only recommend this project to everybody who likes to dive (or is interested to learn it as I did) and want’s to save the world (or at least a very beautiful part of it😉)

Default avatar
Laura
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best experience of my life so far!

I went to Caqalai, Fiji, last February on the marine conservation project, I was previously only an open water diver so in the first week I did advanced open-water training, and also did the Reef Research diver qualification which was really fun, before I progressed onto doing surveys of the invertebrate species on Caqalai's reefs. The diving was out of this world and I experienced so many things I would never have done otherwise.
The community on the Island was also great. Living on a small island with a group of people is immersive to say the least, so we all bonded incredibly quickly and I made friends for life. I also met loads of people at various stages in their studies of environmental or marine sciences which was really helpful for helping me to decide on what I wanted to study this year and I got tons of advice on how to make the most of my degree after volunteering and how to stay involved back home.

I would recommend this project to anyone!

What would you improve about this program?
More people to join! The program can only be as successful as its volunteers so if more likeminded people sign up and share their ideas, more positive changes can happen for both the reefs and communities in Fiji. The project is quite small and it would be incredible if it could get enough volunteers to grow and develop more.
Default avatar
Gina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering with GVI

I loved my experience volunteering with GVI last March. The program I helped was called Women's Empowerment and was really interesting and fulfilling. While I was there I met so many amazing people and the staff were really helpful and friendly. The local community were so welcoming and experiencing their culture and way of life was refreshing. I highly recommend volunteering with GVI and I will definitely be volunteering with them again in future.

Anthony
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Marine Conservation - Volunteer Overseas

If you’re looking for a way to get overseas, I would highly recommend GVI. I have just finished my 6 months on there Marine Conservation Dive Master Internship on Caqalai Island, Fiji and loved every second of it! The field staff are incredible and life away from the hustle and bustle is amazing! GVI gives you the opportunity to be part of something bigger while meeting new people, learning about the marine environment and SCUBA diving/ snorkelling everyday. What more could you want?

Default avatar
Sorcha
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Marine Conservation in Fiji

I spent two months on the tiny island of Caqalai in Fiji during my gap year. I had never scuba dived before and was super nervous to be living away from home for the first time on my own. The country of Fiji is the most welcoming place I've ever been, everywhere you go people say 'bula' meaning hello.

I lived on a remote island in the middle of the south pacific with about 20 other volunteers and about 10 staff members. A normal day consisted of duties at 6:30am, breakfast at 7, kit up for dives at 8 and then the day would begin. Diving twice a day most days and then duties again at 5 and dinner at 7. Island life was so much fun and so rewarding the more experience you gained. I began science training and lectures in the first week and also completed my Open Water. Living standards are very basic on the island but you quickly get used to this. Cooking and cleaning in a team make you appreciate the little things in life more and no hot water becomes a luxury.

At weekends we would travel to the capital city of Suva, climb mountains, eat good food and see cool places. The island next to Caqalai was a peaceful haven where we also spent weekends. You can stay on base at weekends and relax and trust me time flies by!

I came away from this program with much more understanding and insight into environmental issues and I have learned so much about sea life forms I never knew existed. Two months was certainly not enough and I would have loved to have done the internship where you stay on the island for 3 months then on a placement for another 3 months in Fiji. I made amazing friends and have such good memories of my experience. I would recommend this program to every body on their gap year who is looking for something new and exciting to do.

What would you improve about this program?
It needs more advertisement, when I was choosing which marine program to do I found barely any reviews for this specific program which made me hesitant to book it- I was so impressed and it was so much better than I expected!