Visit to Fiji no hol­i­day for stu­dents

Central Leader - - NEWS - By ALASTAIR LYNN

A trop­i­cal is­land hol­i­day sounds re­lax­ing, but it will be hard work for this group of teenagers.

The St Cuth­bert’s Global Vil­lage Habi­tat team will be spend­ing their term break work­ing on tran­si­tional shel­ter projects in Fiji.

A group of 13 vol­un­teers will be jet­ting off to Nadi on June 28 for a week of ham­mer­ing nails, saw­ing wood and drilling holes to help those af­fected by cy­clones.

‘‘Ba­si­cally the team makes the frame of a house,’’ stu­dent Ella Penny says.

‘‘It’s giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity, do­ing some­thing you can take pride in.

‘‘It’s only a week of our time but it’s mak­ing such a dif­fer­ence to other peo­ple.’’

St Cuth­bert’s val­ues pro­gramme man­ager Anna Wong has been or­gan­is­ing vol­un­teer groups with Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity for the past eight years.

The tran­si­tional shel­ters built by vol­un­teers pro­vide tem­po­rary ac­com­mo­da­tion when cy­clones cause dam­age to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

Wong says the girls know what they are in for.

‘‘I don’t soft-soap the trip,’’ she says. ‘‘They know they’re not there for a hol­i­day. It’s go­ing to be a lot of hard work but it will be very re­ward­ing.’’

Far from the usual tourist ac­com­mo­da­tion, the team will be spend­ing the week stay­ing at the Nadi Com­mu­nity Hall.

Aside from hard work, the trip pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity for the girls to ex­pe­ri­ence dif­fer­ent way of life’’.

‘‘I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing the real Fiji,’’ stu­dent Erica Li says.

‘‘On a nor­mal

‘‘a

trip you al­ways get pre­sented with the tourist Fiji and you never get to see the other side.

‘‘It will be re­ally nice to ex­pe­ri­ence the nor­mal lives of the peo­ple.’’

Photo: ALASTAIR LYNN

St Cuth­bert’s Col­lege stu­dents Erica Li, Ella Penny and Ge­or­gia Clarke along with their 13-strong group will be help­ing those af­fected by cy­clones.

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