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About VESA

VESA’s humanitarian and conservation projects aim to provide direct action support to communities in parts of the world overlooked by traditional charities and aid organisations.

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What we’ve achieved

Fiji Islands 2018 – 2019

Fiji Islands Discovered

Thank you

Please enjoy reading about your groups’ achievements as this will give a more complete picture of the vast amount of assistance that you’ve given to the local community through your generosity. And a special thank you to Tom, Jacqi and Benji who have been a fantastic team to lead our volunteers in the 2018 - 2019 season.

Group 1

Votualailai Village - Tagaqe District School

Construction

The volunteers did an awesome job of finishing the east building of the school. From the get go, everybody got stuck into their assigned tasks pushing through the heat and making for a great start to the refurbishment of the school.

• sanded walls of inside and outside of the classroom
• sanded walls of outside of the classroom
• painted inside and out of classrooms
• built incinerator
• painted poles of outside classroom
• painted black boards
• cleared out store room

Education

We only had a couple of days on education due to end of year school ceremonies and school holidays. We had all the kids from the village meet at the hall at the start of the day and separated them into younger students and older students. The younger ones went with Taylor and Priya and read a couple of children’s books before answering questions on the content on the books and drawing the characters themselves.

The book ‘If Everybody Did’ was a hit, which was about community involvement in recycling, sustainability and acting locally thinking globally, but obviously simplified for little tackers. The kids were very attentive and focused, which was a credit to the volunteers involved.

The older students outlined each other in chalk and had to name the bones and muscle groups on the human body, before playing a game of Simon Says to test their knowledge. The volunteers were impressed with the knowledge of anatomy that the students already had. Afterwards we drew out plates and food groups and discussed the importance of healthy, balanced diets. I feel this was an important lesson due to some of the older villagers and relatives of the students being amputees from type 2 diabetes.

• anatomy lessons
• nutrition lessons
• group discussion on careers and future aspirations after school
• story time and reflection on content of literature

Group 2

Votualailai Village - Tagaqe District School

Construction

Group 2 volunteers did awesome work for the second school building and finished everything to a super high standard. We had some unfavourable weather, but the group never complained but persevered. So great to see lots of people out of their comfort zone on the construction site.

No complaints at all and everyone chose to stay later in the day, so we completed five huge days on site which helped us to achieve an amazing amount in this group!

• Day one -sanding inside and outside of classrooms both buildings
• Day two -undercoating
• Day three – more undercoating and then coats of teal and sky cloud
• Day four – second coats -take out glass panels and paint windowsills
• Day five -finished anything that wasn’t painted, and touch ups all colours

Education

This week on education was very quiet as most of the children from last group were away on school holidays or attending the rugby tournament in the village.

However, we still managed to participate in some physical education, some children’s stories, and some fun activities and games for the remaining younger students.

• physical education i.e. stretching certain muscle groups
• story time with younger children
• fun games and activities such as duck-duck-goose, heads down thumbs up

Group 3

Votualailai Village - Tagaqe District School

Construction

The village was incredible as per usual, however, this program certainly had the best sunset of all the programs so far which was an absolute treat to watch with the group each day after a big day of work and hanging out in the village.
The last classroom and the nursery were sanded and painted inside and outside, finishing the main part of the building. The group did a great job of the 2nd classroom building and completing the inside and out of the building.

• painted outside of second large classroom block
• painted inside of kindy
• fixed up the rubbish burner

Education

Once again, this week on education wasn’t quite the way it normally was due to kids still being away on school holidays and the village still coming down from a week of New Year’s celebrations. We managed to gather all the volunteers who were studying education/childcare and anyone else who was interested to work on sanding and painting the computer lab together on the first two days and discuss what lesson plan they wanted to bring to the class.

They decided on doing an arts and crafts session in the village hall with the children who were still in the village over school holidays who were all in preschool/junior years.
They also used donations that the volunteers had brought over to decorate the computer lab which they were working in, including cut-out hand prints with the kids’ names on them.

• arts and crafts session in village hall
• playing with play-do and other donations from volunteers
• exercise and games
• constructed cut-out hand prints to decorate the school computer lab

Group 4

Votualailai Village - Tagaqe District School

Construction

By far the hottest week of any program this season, blasting sun every day and wildly humid, but despite this, volunteers pushed through and worked super hard for us to finish the school in time!
The gang were in high spirits all week with heaps of banter in the work site, such a close team and lots of tears at the airport!
We painted the walkway poles and front gate poles, a new mural was painted and the lunch room inside and out. We also painted the bus stops and the old bathroom blocks FINISHED!

• painted poles on the walkway
• painted rear toilet block
• painted lunchroom and bus stops
• painted a mural at front of the school
• painted boundary posts

Education

This week on education we went in with the grade 4s which was challenging because their English wasn’t great but rewarding because they were all energetic and keen to learn. They sang the volunteers some songs they knew and in return the volunteers taught them some Australians classics like ‘Home Among the Gumtrees’.
The volunteers also took the students outside for some physical education and yoga which was a massive hit
• Differences between Australia and Fiji in terms of: wildlife, climate, culture, geography
• Lessons on the human body including muscle groups, functions and diet
• Physical education: stretching and preparation, importance of exercise and healthy lifestyle