Hi there, my name is Ben Johnson, I am currently studying BSc Geography at the University of Bristol. This summer, thanks to the generosity of Blue Horizon Medicals, I was able to take part in Think Pacific’s 1-month volunteering project in the Fiji Islands. I would like to share a little more about my experience volunteering with Think Pacific.
Fiji is an extraordinary collection of 330 islands located in the South Pacific Ocean. It is a destination on the bucket list of many travellers, but on the other hand, Fiji is a country which faces issues in the form of health and inequality, particularly in rural areas. A particular threat to the health of the population comes from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes, around 80% of total deaths in Fiji are as a result of NCDs.
Think Pacific is a non-profit charity which works in partnership with the Fijian Government and aims to deliver upon the country’s National Development Plan by running multiple summer programmes across Fiji’s most remote areas. The programmes focus on key topics such as public health, mental health, youth empowerment and the expansion of vital infrastructure to aid development.
I was lucky enough to volunteer with Think Pacific in the incredible village of Naisaumua, I was hosted by an amazing Fijian family for just over 3 weeks. During my time there, in a team of volunteers working with the local youth, we built a health clinic from start to finish. The building provides the village with amenities for the community health worker to conduct medical assessments and administer medications which helps to expand the provision of health care in rural Fiji.
I am so grateful to my host family in Fiji along with the people I have met, to Think Pacific for amazing the opportunity, and finally to Blue Horizon Medicals for sponsoring my journey through the extremely generous donation to Think Pacific covering my expedition fee.
The Think Pacific website contains more information on the amazing work done by the charity - https://thinkpacific.com