About 7 years ago I was lucky enough to go on a beautiful holiday to Fiji for my first trip overseas! In that time, I was fortunate enough to stay in 5 star accommodation and see first hand just how beautiful Fiji really is with clear blue water and gorgeous sunny days! what more could you ask for?
During my stay I took a drive around the main island and also witnessed the very opposite side of the country in ways of many people living below the poverty line with beautiful children play football in a big patch dirt that is referred to as 'football fields' and close to all without so much as a pair of shoes. Non the less I will never forget each and everyone of them with the biggest, brightest smile on each of their faces.
2 years ago I returned to Fiji and experienced yet another luxurious holiday and in this trip I made time to go visit a not so privileged island and community where I we visited a school and met with the children, all of which had again no shoes, no desks to learn from, no writing pens and pencils or paper but a few chalk boards to learn from sitting on the class room floor. The school playground was a dirt patch outside of the hut classrooms where they chased each other around and sung songs to us while playing and laughing. I will never forget how beautiful and happy spirited these kids were with so little. It made me want to assist with these communities to help children and families with a donation I left them with as little as $200 where they explained it would give them school supplies for a whole year! When the teachers explained the impact of how much that would assist the school I was amazed to hear just how so little in the great scheme of things could change an experience for many children it puts my spending under the magnifying glass like when I think about how much I have spent on a shopping trip or even a night out with the girls..eeeek!
More than 250,000 people in the Fiji Islands live in poverty and many more Fijians live on or just above the poverty line. Efficient delivery in health care, in education, in work opportunities and other social services are incredibly difficult in Fiji.
This December I decided I would volunteer in schools and orphanages in a country where they need assistance I had applied through different programs and offered my services in South Africa, Nepal, Thailand and of course Fiji where my first eye opener really began for me. I was lucky enough to be placed through IVI in the Fiji Orphanage Program for my first and I dare say not last volunteering placement. This I feel has been very fitting for me to begin my volunteering program in Fiji where I first became more aware of what I can do to assist.
I will be volunteering in an area that is very close to my heart the Fijian Orphanage and if anybody knows me they know I melt over children. The home was set up particularly for young children that were abandoned or disabled. The children range in ages from new born up to 20 years of age. The orphanage holds up to 25 children in total. Some are children who have been abandoned at birth, usually by young single mums and some are disabled. The Orphanage does however, also look after children who have needed to be taken from their parents by the Department of Social Welfare. I know this will be challenging at times to become close to these children that have been abandoned and fall involve with them to eventually leave but I know my help will do some good for them and me. The rewarding feeling, I know will far outweigh any challenges I face by living in these conditions and seeing what I will be opposed to.
I will be heading over in December and spending my Christmas and new years break in the orphanage with these gorgeous kids so I will be trying to head over with what I can to help make this time as special as I can for them.
With that said I will be raising what I can to take with me. The funds I raise will contribute to whatever the kids need at the time of my trip it may be clothes, food, nappies or even a few gifts for them to play with. your donation no matter how big or small with help.
Thank you in advance for your kind and generous support!