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Volunteers bring smiles to children

Ana Madigibuli
Saturday, May 24, 2014

PUTTING smiles on children's faces is something that the Volunteer Eco Students Abroad (VESA) volunteer groups always hope to achieve when visiting the country.

One of the ways in which these volunteers achieve this is through their community work, which is refurbishing and renovating various school buildings in the district.

Seventy Canadian university students are in Fiji as part of the VESA group, assisting Namena District School and Namalata District School in renovation and refurbishment work this month.

Community Support Network (CSN) media liaison officer Jiosefa Gavidi said the volunteer groups came to Fiji under the local registered organisation CSN that organised their community program, which included selecting the schools that the volunteers would assist during their stay.

Mr Gavidi said the volunteers were accommodated at the various villages so they could also experience village lifestyle.

"From May to August, we have university students from Canada who are part of the program.

"They fund the whole project, which also includes paying for their own fare to come to Fiji," he said.

"We have covered 33 schools under the community program, which excludes the 10 schools that the volunteers will be assisting this season."

He said there were two groups of 35 volunteers for each school and they painted, install water tanks, built incinerators and taught students how to make compost.

"They also get a chance to help out in class by teaching students educational things about their country."

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