Think Pacific Volunteering in Fiji

A bit about me

Thank you for taking the time to look at my gofundme page!

In July I graduated from Royal Holloway and like so many graduates and school leavers I was wondering what to do next. I knew I wanted to do volunteer work of some kind but did not know what, where, or with whom. Luckily I came across Think Pacific and realised that I care about many of the same issues and share the same ethos as this fantastic charity.

So, charity decided, I applied and got a place on an 8 week expedition to Fiji, beginning in September 2018! I am fundraising an initial £1,800 for the expedition (break down below), and a further £1100 to cover the cost of my flights and Gofundme  fees.  I am doing this by walking 30 trig points in 30 days! But I need your help...

Why Think Pacific?

While Fiji is one of the most beautiful places in the Pacific Ocean, it also struggles with extreme poverty issues. 75% of children grow up below the poverty line, many living on less than one dollar a day. I wholeheartedly believe that every child in the world should have access to an education, particularly the all important early years education which can heavily impact the education that follows. Sadly, only 5% of children in Fiji receive this.

Think Pacific (reg. charity 1162190) is focused on delivering high quality education and youth development, often in difficult circumstances. Only 50% of children in Fiji have access to fresh water and adequate sanitation. Further, I and 19 other volunteers will be heading out to Kadavu Island, 12 hours away from medical aid. That said, I could not be more excited to be working one-on-one with children in English and Maths, leading and taking part in extra-curricular activities and sports, and developing a kindergarten, all whilst being immersed in traditional village life. 

Unlike many volunteer charities, Think Pacific only focuses on one country... Fiji. This means that the schools are supported and provided with teaching training (both academic and sports coaching) and supplies long after we have returned home, a feature of the charity I particularly love! Further, TP is the only charity to work directly with the Fijian Ministries of Education, Sports, Youth and Health to make sure the impact is long lasting and the principles behind Think Pacific can be applied elsewhere. Fijian villages who want to host volunteers are currently on a five year waiting list, which really highlights how highly commended and respected TP is, even in rural Fiji!

Since late 2009, TP has supported over 20,000 children. There has been a 15% increase in school attendance, a 40% increase in literacy and, staggeringly, a 600% increase in sports! Of course, Fiji is a rugby loving nation, so coming from Wales I already feel a connection with this beautiful and friendly country!

The Challenge: 30 trig points in 30 days!

Trig points (or triangulation stations) were built at the highest points on hills and mountains to measure the landscape around them. There are dozens in the Brecon Beacons, so I am going to be walking up to 30 different ones on 30 consecutive days. As an amateur walker this is going to be quite an "uphill" challenge (sorry!) Distances will vary everyday, from c.3 miles to c.10.

Bad puns aside, I would be so grateful if you could sponsor me! Anyone is welcome to join me on the walks, especially for the 30th and final walk which will be up to the trig point on Hay Bluff mountain. No doubt muscles will be pretty sore by then so support is very very welcome. 

I will be walking in July-August, every day come rain and shine, and I will be regularly updating social media to let you know my progress, distances walked each day , etc.! So please feel free to add me on Facebook (Fiona Horridge) and Instagram (_fionajoy_) I will also update this page every 10-15 days with photos and my progress.

Update: *** I have now finished my walks! If you would like to see more pictures please email me at [email redacted] ***

Where is the money going?

My initial goal is for £1,800 which will go to Think Pacific.

The breakdown is as follows:
37% direct volunteer costs: travel to the village, food etc.
30% donations and sustainability: providing support for schools and communities even after the expedition! I love this about TP.
15% project planning: outreach, govt. planning etc.
8% 24/7 support: keeping us safe
7% expedition leadership: 3 leaders accompany our group of 20
3% volunteer recruitment: future projects (it could be you!)

After the initial £1,800 I aim to raise a further £1000 for my return flight to Nadi, Fiji.

A further £100 was added to my target in August to cover the fees for using Gofundme, these are a 2.9% processing fee plus a 25p fee per donation.

Thank you so so much for taking the time to read this and donating. I can't say how much I am looking forward to going to Fiji and making a difference; a small impact in a worldwide lack of education. 

N.B. The 'tip' when you donate goes to gofundme, so you can put 0% if you wish. 


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Fiona Horridge 
Builth Wells, Wales, United Kingdom
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