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Construction and Renovation Volunteer Project in Fiji - Suva

Apply now. The next available start date for this project is Sep 6, 2021

Many schools in Fiji don’t have resources to upgrade or maintain their facilities, and need help to make regular improvements. Volunteers help to overcome these funding shortages by helping with renovation projects in classrooms, libraries and resource centers.

You’ll be working under the guidance of a local project coordinator, helping with building, demolition, painting, cleaning, landscaping and repairs. The exact nature of your volunteering will depend on the ongoing project at the time, as well as the local priorities.

Construction and Renovation volunteer in Fiji with IVHQ

This project is suitable for all volunteers who are interested in getting their hands dirty and who are generally enthusiastic about physical work. As you’ll be volunteering alongside local staff, you don’t need any previous building experience.

Volunteers typically work for three hours each day, and have the rest of the day to either join another volunteer placement or enjoy free time.

Please note, the Construction and Renovation project has an extra cost of $50 per week for extra supervision, materials and logistics. This amount will be included in the Program Fee quoted to you by IVHQ when you apply. If you choose to join the Introduction Week, the weekly surcharge will start on your second week.

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Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from $420 for 1 week
  • Help with construction and renovation tasks in local schools

  • Assist with building, demolition, painting, landscaping and repair work

  • Suited to hard working volunteers who like using their hand

  • Take the option to join other projects in your spare time

  • Additional $50 per week surcharge for supervision, materials and logistics

  • Volunteer for up to 3 hours per day

Destination Highlights
Fiji at a glance
  • Based in Fiji’s capital city, Suva

  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support

  • Accommodation in a dormitory-style volunteer house

  • Between 20 and 70 volunteers start in Fiji each month

Fill out the quick form below to find out what the Covid-19 restrictions and visa requirements are for Fiji, based on your country of residence.

The IVHQ Fiji Program is based in the capital city, Suva, which is on the southeastern coast of mainland Fiji. Volunteer placements are located in Narere and throughout the wider city area of Suva. Volunteers travel to their placements from the volunteer accommodation via public transport. The accommodation is roughly 1 hour from the nearest beach via public transport.

The Fiji program begins every Monday. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks. Please note that the 2-day orientation is included in your chosen program duration.

The program orientation begins every Monday and volunteers need to arrive in Suva on the day before orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive in Fiji. There are two airport options for arriving to the Fiji program - Nausori International Airport (SUV) in Suva or Nadi International Airport (NAN) in Nadi.

Nausori International Airport is the most convenient for an airport pick-up, which are provided here on Saturdays and Sundays only. Nadi International Airport is the main international airport, where direct flights are more common and less expensive. Some volunteers opt to fly here and then take a 4.5 hour bus trip to Suva. If you choose this option and arrive into Nadi between 6am and 6pm on Saturday or Sunday, you will be met at the airport by a member of the local team who will provide assistance with your bus transfer to Suva, where you will be picked up at the bus station. If you arrive on a weekday or after 6pm on the weekend, you can arrange your own accommodation in Nadi and then make your way to Suva via bus the following morning. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are traveling in Fiji prior to your volunteer program, you will need to make your own way to the volunteer accommodation and the local team will provide guidance on this.

There are two options for orientation for the Fiji Program. The first option is a one-day orientation, which begins on the morning of your chosen start date and runs for a full day. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Fiji, including an introduction to Fiji, Culture and Customs, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.

The second option is Introduction Week, hosted by our Fiji team in Suva. The Introduction Week begins on the morning of your chosen start date and runs for the first five days of your stay. It is an awesome way to kickstart your volunteer abroad experience and it covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Fiji, plus you’ll learn more about the culture and get to tick off must-do Fiji experiences! Please note, the Introduction week is included in your total duration on the program.

The Introduction Week schedule is outlined below:

Monday Volunteer orientation (an introduction to Fiji and your program, Fijian culture lessons, travel and tour opportunities), followed by a tour of Suva city and a Kava Welcome Ceremony
Tuesday Visit Mosquito Island and enjoy swimming and relaxing at the beach
Wednesday Fijian Cooking class and languages class
Thursday Museum and Colo-I-Suva Waterfall visit
Friday Weaving Class and project preparation

This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on the needs of the program, local weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

If you wish to participate in the Introduction Week, you can indicate this on your application form when you apply for the program or let your Program Manager know at least two weeks before you begin the program. Your IVHQ Program Manager will then add this to your file, as you need to book your place prior to departing for Fiji.

On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with. A typical volunteer day is as follows:

7.30 - 8.30 AM - Breakfast at the volunteer house and then travel to your placement to join local placement staff.

9.00 AM - Start at your placement. Please note that start times and daily workload depends on the project that you are participating on (some placements run in the afternoon and volunteers on these placements will have the morning to create their lesson plans, or can join another project).

12.00 PM - Volunteers break for lunch. Most volunteers travel back to the volunteer house for lunch, while some volunteers may be provided lunch at their placement.

2.00 PM - Work at your placement usually ends. You are free to use this time to lesson plan for tomorrow or spend the afternoon exploring.

5.30 PM - Dinner at the volunteer house. After dinner, you will have the remainder of the evening free to relax and use as you wish.

Please note, this schedule will vary depending on the needs of your particular project.

Evenings : To ensure the safety of our volunteers and respect of others in the volunteer accommodation, a curfew of 11:30 PM has been put in place for every evening, including the weekend. If you wish to stay out longer, you must discuss this first with our local team and arrange alternative accommodation.

Volunteers are accommodated in dormitory-style volunteer houses, which are located in a safe suburb near the community where volunteers work, approximately 20 minutes from central Suva and 45 minutes from the nearest beach. The area has a very strong friendly Fijian culture. A curfew of 11:30 PM is in effect every evening (including weekends) to ensure the safety and respect of others in the volunteer accommodation.

The volunteer house is very basic but comfortable with electricity and running water. Bathrooms in the volunteer houses are all western style with a shower, toilet and basin. Bedding is provided which includes a pillow with pillow case, bottom and top sheet. You will need to bring a towel, toiletries and a mosquito net if you wish to sleep with one.

You can expect to share a room with four to six other volunteers of the same gender. Couples or individuals who want more privacy have two options to upgrade to private accommodation. A private room in the volunteer house with a shared bathroom is an additional $65 per person, per week, while a private room with a private bathroom is an additional $135 per person, per week. Private rooms are subject to availability and therefore you must arrange this well in advance of your program.

To access WiFi, we recommend purchasing a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone. The local team can assist you with purchasing this during your program orientation in Suva. WiFi is also available at cafes and restaurants in Suva.

Fijian food is tasty and diverse, with a strong influence of Indian and Chinese cuisine. Meals are served at the volunteer house 3 times per day during the week. Breakfast and dinner are served during the weekends and volunteers are responsible for their own lunches. Typical dishes include chow mein (Fiji style stir-fried noodles and vegetables), starches such as cassava, taro, sweet potato, breadfruit and rice, stews, soups and curries. If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you.

Fijian food is diverse, with a strong influence of Indian, Chinese and Western cuisine. Meals are served at the volunteer house 3 times per day during the week. Breakfast and dinner are served during the weekends and volunteers are responsible for their own lunches. Typical dishes include starches such as cassava, taro, sweet potato, breadfruit and rice, chow mein (Fiji style stir-fried noodles and vegetables), stews, soups and curries. Bottled water is readily available in Fiji and there are water filters available in the volunteer accommodation.

If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can discuss this with you. However, you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. The local team will do their best to see that you are well taken care of, but as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible. If you wish to supplement some of your meals with home comforts, there are basic kitchen facilities available to use.

Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
1 week $420 Equivalent to $60/day
2 weeks $640 Equivalent to $46/day
3 weeks $860 Equivalent to $41/day
4 weeks $1,080 Equivalent to $39/day
5 weeks $1,280 Equivalent to $37/day
6 weeks $1,485 Equivalent to $36/day
8 weeks $1,895 Equivalent to $34/day
10 weeks $2,305 Equivalent to $33/day
12 weeks $2,715 Equivalent to $33/day
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Airport pick-up
  • Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Certificate of International Volunteering

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of $299 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Fiji generally find US$100 per week to be sufficient for expenses.

Volunteers have the weekends free and this time is more commonly spent traveling farther afield in Fiji to one of the pristine coastlines, beaches or rainforests. We highly recommend that you budget for these additional weekend trips. Volunteers can spend the weekends exploring Suva, visiting Colo-I-Suva or Mosquito Island and searching the craft and produce markets in Suva’s town centre. It is also easy to head to the Coral Coast, which is a stretch of beaches and bays between Nadi and Suva. Along this coastline is the Pacific Harbour (approximately 2.5 hours from Suva), which is the self-proclaimed ‘Adventure Capital’ of Fiji. From Pacific Harbour you can organize activities, such as kayaking, white-water rafting, shark feeding, jet ski tours, zip lining and diving.

See our Fiji Travel and Tours page to learn more about the volunteer travel and tour opportunities available in Fiji.

Capital Suva
Population 881,065
Languages English, Fijian and Fijian Hindi
Currency Fijian Dollar (FJD)
Time zone UTC+12:00

Weather and climate: Fiji has a hot climate all year round with maximum temperatures averaging between 26°C and 31°C (79°F - 88°F). The wet season runs from November to April and the dry season runs from June through to April. The wet season is characterized by high humidity with heavy downpours followed by sunshine. The dry season is when temperatures are typically cooler with little rainfall.

The Fiji program begins every Monday. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks. Please note that the 2-day orientation is included in your chosen program duration.

Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate on this program, unless volunteering with a parent or guardian. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.

All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ’s local team on arrival in Fiji.

Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.

How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!