Recent volunteer, Elisa talks about her experience in 2019:
“The reason why I decided to sign up for Island Spirit volunteering experience was to learn more about social entrepreneurship.
At that time I was undertaking a module at University called Entrepreneurship and Creativity in Hospitality and Tourism, when Kirsty came along and spoke to us about her business in Fiji.
I remember I was so touched, and somehow it felt like that was the right thing to be involved in at that time. I was becoming more and more interested in everything related to women empowerment. And after a long discussion with Kirsty, we found not only the right fit for me within the experience but we also agreed I would help her with the teaching.”
So I left for Fiji and stayed there for a month. And I can say full-hearted that I do not regret my decision. It was such an amazing experience.
I think being part of such a small yet welcoming community was what made this experience truly special. In Lavena you are never alone. The sense of belonging to the community is very strong. Core values such as generosity and kindness are a must. You really feel like you are part of the family when you’re there.
On top of that, I think for me the kids have played such a huge role in my personal development. They make life look like is so simple. They don’t have many material things but they are just so happy all the time. And this really made me appreciate life and feel grateful for what I already have.
On the other hand, I must say the most challenging thing for me was the food and being able to cope with the lack of variety. Being Italian, I appreciate food and love to try different things. Thus when I was in the Island with few weeks in, I found it hard to stick to local food every day.
Overall, though I am grateful to have been brave in taking this opportunity and moving across the world. I learned a lot about social enterprise with sensitivity to local communities and traditions. And I hope that in the future this is something that I can pursue.
Wishing you all the best,
Your assistance provides respite for the teachers and time to dedicate to needy children while you teach classes.
Your knowledge and teaching style is fresh and new and regardless of how good you think you are, you are bringing A LOT to the table.
Remember, you are lucky to be educated in the west and your skills are definitely transferable.