In November, the Abbotsleigh School sent a volunteer team of 16 (2 teachers and 14 students) to Fiji. The students worked side by side Vasenai and her family to help them build a safe and decent home that can also withstand disaster.
Abbotsleigh have been sending volunteers to Fiji with Habitat for nearly 10 years now. One of the students, Scarlet shared her reflections on volunteering in Fiji:
“…When we were there, we built a house completely from scratch, dug the holes in the ground, sawed through massive logs and hand mixed cement. A lot of work was done by hand. The physical ‘grit’ we faced with the heat and the physical labour was all worth it because we genuinely loved all the people we were building for and were going to make a difference to their lives.
The Fijian locals from the community were also helping us as it was just what you to do for family. Their family values are so strong and they give up everything for each other because everyone in the village community is so close.
We learnt so much about humility and how blessed we are to have our lives.
Vasenai was saying how blessed she felt we came and how she prayed every day for a place to call her own.
Vasenai cried and hugged each of us. We had never felt such gratitude displayed towards us. For what for us was just 3½ days of building, had changed her entire life and the lives of her family. The locals were telling us that something like this is what people dream of as they simply can’t afford to do this.
As a group we all developed appreciation both physically and mentally. We left feeling like we had achieved so much for us but most of all for the wonderful family. It was really rewarding to see how all of our hard work turned into the final product and actually made a massive impact for Vasenai and her family.”
Watch an overview of the Abbotsleigh trip here
Find out more
Find out how your school can volunteer with Habitat. Overseas volunteering trips for schools provide students with a unique opportunity to see the world while developing team work and leadership skills. We can also offer opportunities to volunteer overseas for Schoolies.