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Contribute to healthcare projects in Fiji through a volunteer or internship program

Article by Petrina Darrah

Petrina Darrah

Posted: July 22, 2022

If you’re curious about a career in public health, a healthcare internship for undergraduates in Fiji might be for you. 

GVI’s healthcare programs in Fiji aim to promote health and wellbeing in communities in the Dawasamu region. Choose from a healthcare volunteering project, or a global health internship and gain real world experience in this field while spending time in a beautiful island nation in the South Pacific.

Here’s what you can expect from a healthcare project and life on base in Fiji

 

What does healthcare volunteering in Fiji involve?

 

 

 

Volunteers and interns taking part in GVI’s healthcare programs in Fiji work closely with local partners, such as the district nurse and community health workers, as well as the Dawasamu Health Centre. As part of your program, you will meet weekly with the district nurse to prioritise which areas require further attention in each village. 

The district nurse provides care and education to mothers and their children in 15 villages – as many as 2,000 people. GVI volunteers play an important role in supporting her efforts in public health through joint objectives. 

These so far have included projects such as improving the infrastructure of the district nurse’s working station, so she has a private, safe space to provide care for vulnerable children and infants. This allows her to do her job more efficiently. 

Other priority areas might include creating interactive workshops in collaboration with local authorities, using official government health materials and resources. These workshops might cover topics such as the importance of healthy eating and a balanced diet, or the importance of preventative health measures. 

For example, educating mothers on healthcare messaging from the Ministry of Health and National Food Nutritional Centre has also been an important collaboration between GVI and the district nurse. Volunteers helped to create visual resources and interactive activities such as workshops about nutrition and breastfeeding for local women. According to the district nurse, these workshops have played a role in decreasing malnutrition in children under five years old.  

Working closely with our local partners and members of the community, you’ll see the impact of your contribution and learn more about the world of public healthcare. 

 

How can healthcare volunteering benefit your career?

 

 

Healthcare volunteering is a great option if you enjoy practical projects with tangible outcomes. Maybe you aren’t sure what a career in public health could look like, or maybe you want to expand your skills in this area – either way, GVI’s healthcare programs will enrich your career. 

GVI’s healthcare internships for undergraduates in Fiji might suit you if you’re interested in helping to provide care for people but aren’t studying medicine, or don’t have experience in a medical field. Healthcare internships for undergraduates are the ideal way to gain insight into sustainable public health projects and explore potential career paths related to healthcare. This could be your first step in a career in this field, giving you the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and see the contributions different initiatives make to partners and members of the local community. 

As an intern, you’ll have the opportunity to pursue your own initiatives via a research project. You could look into topics such as access to water, or different medical treatments. Carrying out research and gathering information about individual villages is a valuable contribution for local partners, and it will set you up with analytical and research skills which can be applied to a range of jobs. 

Other hard and soft skills you might develop over the course of your program might include planning and delivering workshops, and fostering collaboration and communication capabilities. Working with local partners and people, you’ll also develop strong intercultural communication skills. These skills will all shine on your CV. 

 

Why choose to volunteer in Fiji?

 

Original Photo: by Gary Runn on Unsplash

 

Fiji is an exquisite archipelago, its islands featuring the trademarks of paradise – swaying palms, dazzling beaches and bright blue water. GVI’s base in Dawasamu is located close enough to the beach you’ll be able to hear the sounds of the ocean from your bedroom, and you’ll be only a short stroll from stretches of white sand from where you can watch sunrises over the Pacific Ocean. 

Inland, Fiji has lush rainforests full of songbirds and waterfalls. Out to sea, there are reefs teeming with more than 1,200 species of fish. 

And then there’s the welcoming and hospitable culturel. Taking part in a healthcare volunteering program in Fiji also gives you the chance to be immersed in Fijian culture. You’ll experience traditional cultural ceremonies, get to taste local cuisine like the national dish of kokoda, a type of raw fish salad, and see the rhythm of daily life as it revolves around village life, church, and rugby – a local passion. 

Through GVI Experiences, you can learn more about indigenous iTaukei, or Fijian, customs. Take a traditional cooking class, learn about inidigenous plant medicine, take a class on weaving traditional mats, or make and enjoy kava, the national drink made from the root of a plant. 

Embrace the fascinating culture and lush surrounds of Fiji on healthcare internships, apprenticeships and fellowships for undergraduates. Find out more about GVI’s healthcare projects in Fiji today. 

By Petrina Darrah

Petrina Darrah is a freelance writer from New Zealand with a passion for outdoor adventure and sustainable travel. She has been writing about travel for more than five years and her work has appeared in print and digital publications including National Geographic Travel, Conde Nast Travel, Business Insider, Atlas Obscura and more. You can see more of her work at petrinadarrah.com.
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