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Teachers with a purpose

Sikeli Qounadovu
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

THEY travelled to Fiji hoping to make a positive impact on the lives of our children, they sure did but the experienc taught them something else.

And in the search for purpose and sense of direction, they may have just found that through the eyes of our children. It is this experience that has influenced them to return.

Originally from the United Kingdom 33 years old Lacey Yates has been a teacher for the past 10 years.

A primary school teacher back in England Miss Yates said she had enjoyed every bit of her stay in Fiji.

Miss Yates spent one month in Fiji and was one of the volunteers from the UK-based non-profit organisation Travel Teacher providing support and assisting children who attend Ratu Filise Memorial School at Namatakula, Nadroga.

"This is my first time in Fiji and it's been brilliant and fantastic. I love all the people in the village.

"They have been very friendly and very lovely. They are really welcoming, really helpful. It's like they are a big family.

"The children here are a lot livelier. They've got a lot more energy and they are a joy to teach.

"You know how they are always together, going to the beach together to collect coconuts and having fun. They are much different to children back at home.

"This experience has convinced me to return. I would like to come back again and I would really love to work here.

"I would really love to help the children of Fiji," she said

Originally from South Hampton, Tashana McNaught made the trip to Fiji after graduating from university.

Ms McNaught was also a volunteer with the Travel Teacher program based in Namatakula.

"I first heard about Fiji towards the end of last year so I decided why not to try out and that's why I wanted to be involved with Travel Teacher because it is such an amazing experience.

"This is my first time in Fiji and I have really enjoyed my experience in Fiji, everyone has been really helpful, children are amazing and the people are very friendly.

"I have enjoyed the food, the food has been good.

"My favourite food would be the corn. It was really nice and I like the fish."

She said this experience had convinced her to return.

"I have not decided on what particular job I would want to do but I would love to come back simply because I have been very attached to the kids," she said.

"The kids are great. They are all really excited.

"They're always smiling and I would like to come back and teach at schools here in Fiji.

"Being part of this little community has been very nice.

"It's really nice to know that we have had an impact on their lives and on the school's academic results.

"Especially when they get to learn in their second language so it is nice to see that we have managed to help them especially in speaking English.

"I have enjoyed every bit of it so I have two friends who will come over for two weeks.

"When I return, I will certainly let my university friends know of this beautiful country called Fiji."

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