"WE need to develop a culture of volunteering in the country," says philanthropist and Koroipita model town developer Peter Drysdale.
He said while people in Fiji were generally compassionate towards each other and receptive in times of natural disasters, there was a genuine need for the more affluent to get involved in assisting the less fortunate.
"Some people think that donating money is enough but we need people to set aside time and utilise their skills and talent to helping the needy," he said.
"At Koroipita we're getting 350 volunteers a year. Over the last nine years we've had 1250 volunteers who have come from Australia, New Zealand and as far away as the United States.
"While many are retired or semi-retired, we are also getting volunteers from Habitat for Humanity and student volunteers from high school and technical colleges from Melbourne in Australia.
"It is disappointing that the same can't be said for local schools and institutions. We had a team of volunteers from International School Nadi but that was years ago."
Mr Drysdale, however, lauded the efforts of Tony Whitton from Likuliku Resort and volunteers from the Rosie Holiday's Group who spend every long weekend building homes at Koroipita.
Beginning in 1985 with the building of one home in the aftermath of Cyclone's Eric and Nigel, Mr Drysdale has constructed 851 dwellings and housed 3660 people with funding from donors like the Rotary Club and the involvement of US-based organisation, Habitat for Humanity.