Involvement Volunteers International

Not Verified What's this?
9.5 / 10 after 43 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

Submit a review

Living outside your comfort zone, in a new country with a different culture from yours, sharing rooms and sleeping in bunk beds, having cold showers (which by the way I will miss) makes you look at life differently and appreciate the simple things.
I can’t put into words how rewarding it was working with the children. Teaching was a challenge but the feeling of contributing for their education and just being part of their everyday life, either in the classroom or just laying outside, is more than fulfilling. Energy that never runs out, eagerness to learn (and teach me), cheeky curiosity and genuine happiness. Pure happiness. Those are the words that would describe them.
My experience in Tigman, taught me how to be more present. Enjoy every single moment and dedicate my time to people. People who became friends just in a few days.
I will always remember the sunsets on the beach, eating the best banana fritters, the long talks in Tiki hut, dancing around the bonfire with a full moon, singing my heart out on Karaoke nights but most importantly, all the people I’ve met and were part of each moment. Kind hearts with open minds that went to make a difference. I leave Tigman with a full heart, ready to come back.
Salamat po, Tigman!
A big kiss and thanks to all members of The management here in the Philippines.

Mafalda

Program:
Location:
Posted: December 4, 2019
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
35

Highlights:
The whole two- week trip was a highlight from me. From being picked up at the airport by Masi’s son to being driven to the Denaru by a family friend. I arrived on the island with the headmaster’s family in a small fibreglass boat and it is certainly something I’ll never forget. Fiji is such a family orientated culture, which made me feel so comfortable from the start. Everyone welcomed me with open arms and I felt right at home from the beginning. The children melted my heart with their beautiful smiles and cheekiness, the locals always greeted me as I wandered past with the kids and the pristine beaches and coral reefs that surrounded the island were stunning. My host family were incredible, so generous with everything they had. They answered my questions, talked to me, laughed with me and my two Fijian “brothers” I had for two weeks,I will never forget. I left Fiji feeling like I was a part of their family. The teaching staff were so appreciative of everything I did and they made me feel like part of the school.
The island is such a picturesque island with natural beauty everywhere you looked. I loved waking up in the morning to the sun shining and the sounds of the children going about their morning jobs. I felt that I have experienced the “real” Fiji in staying on a remote island and living like a local. I would not have wanted it any other way for my first experience as a volunteer.
Comments on team, food and accommodation:
Lauren was fabulous with her communication and any questions I had were answered promptly. Even though I had no reason to contact her whilst in Fiji, I felt 100% supported the whole time. Masi and his family were incredible hosts and I felt right at home staying with him and his family. He was informative and extremely helpful when my bags went missing (haha) and more importantly a kind soul. The food on the island was quite bland compared to what I was use to back home but there was plenty of it and I enjoyed trying out the various Fijian foods that were prepared for me. As we were briefed, vegetables and fruits were few and far between but this was expected. Once again I was expecting clean but no frills accommodation in comparison to what I am use to. The toilet for me was somewhat of a challenge in the beginning (haha) and the shower was buckets of water. You just have to embrace it and go with the flow because that is how they live and it was important for me to be grateful for what they had given me. This experience was out of my comfort zone but hands down one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Program:
Location:
Posted: November 27, 2019
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10
By: Ben.N
Age:
28

Fiji was such an amazing experience working in the villages with such humble, happy and beautiful people who truly valued our input an experience I’ll never forget. I would just like to also say a big thank you to Danielle, her approach to the project with such a positive and can do attitude was definitely notable, she went above and beyond to make sure we were all happy at all times. She did a great job of looking after us and her training/knowledge was highly commendable. Also Masi and Mere are absolutely fantastic hosts so very kind, nothing was ever a problem they are such beautiful people – safe to say Mere is a FANTASTIC cook too haha.
Vanuatu was also amazing! I had so much fun there and learnt a lot about marine conservation, even got a few surfs in Pele really was a little treasure such an incredibly beautiful place. Lynne and Willie both looked after me so well while I was there nothing was ever to much to ask. Being on my own I spent a lot of time with Lynne and the other people in the village outside of work it really became like a second home for me. Lynne looked after me so well always making sure I was taken care of and happy, very lovely lady.

Program:
Location:
Posted: November 24, 2019
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
23

The Zoo was AMAZING and I loved my time there and can’t wait to go back! The zoo is well maintained, the standard of care for all the animals is first rate and Donna and Gill run an efficient ship to keep it all that way. I honestly can’t rave about it enough, i loved getting up early every day to do the morning feeding rounds, then we always had a good morning tea break, then cleaning enclosures/topping up fresh water and maintenance until lunchish and then afternoons free to sit by the pool before doing the night rounds. It was great to talk to the visitors coming to the zoo as well, and showing them around and educating them about all the animals. Donna and Gill made me feel so at home and i’m so grateful they shared their little slice of heaven with me. They taught me lots of things about how to care for animals i hadn’t worked with before and we even fed the crocs!

Program:
Location:
Posted: November 23, 2019
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9
Age:
27

The highlights of the trip were of course the children. They are such happy children, keen to learn and I was really impressed with the generally neatness of their bookwork and their handwriting.
The people there are so welcoming and accepting of people into their village. They showed great concern for me and my comfort and for my age (apparently I was the oldest volunteer they had ever had at the school) and I know a lot of work went on behind the scenes to make sure I was comfortable and safe.
Some of the highlights were travelling with the students to Mololo Island and Sigatoka for sports events. The logistics of organising up to 76 students 7 teachers and a couple of volunteers to travel in small fishing boats and the school boat to Mololo and in the case of the trip to Sigatoka transferring to the ferry off the island of Tokoriki and catching a bus from Denarau to Sigatoka were pretty formidable but were managed very impressively.
I loved reading with the students. They work so hard and are so keen to learn. I also enjoyed walking along the beach with the students after school singing songs we had learned that day or collecting shells and also spending time with the women who were so very kind and generous. I felt I really made some good friends. I’ve enclosed a photos of the children but I’m afraid I am not a very good photographer and I also missed a lot of photo opportunities. I am truly grateful for the opportunity of being a volunteer at Mamanuca school and I would love to do it again. I would need to save the money, which I’m sure I could do, and I would have to do it before I get too much older but let’s see how I go. Could you please give me the email address and the postal address of the school? I have some books from a reading programme I would like to send and also gifts for Master Te and Mala, who took such good care of me while I was there.

Program:
Location:
Posted: November 22, 2019
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10
By: MaureenM
Age:
32

Pages