Bluebird Care helps fund Fiji volunteering trip to teach youngsters

Published: 22/05/2019

Our deputy care manager Katy Cresswell says she has memories that will ‘last a lifetime’ after recently returning from a volunteering trip to Fiji, which we part-funded. 

Our deputy care manager Katy Cresswell says she has memories that will ‘last a lifetime’ after recently returning from a volunteering trip to Fiji, which we part-funded. 

Katy’s gruelling 48-hour journey took her to an impoverished area of Narere to teach disadvantaged youngsters in a Kindergarten.

Katy said: “I am very fortunate to have such supportive employers. What I will take from this trip will last a lifetime. To be able to appreciate what we have is so important; when you see first-hand that some chalk is precious to a child it’s an incredible experience. The Fijian people were friendly, warm, caring and family-orientated with great traditions and culture.”

Bluebird Care director Anne Inglis said: “We were delighted to be able to help with the costs of the volunteering trip. We have a strong community ethos at Bluebird Care and like to support staff when they are keen to give something back, whether at home or abroad – that’s an approach that resonates with us as an organisation.”

Katy, who enrolled with International Volunteer HQ, added: “Where I was staying in Fiji was certainly an eye opener and a stark contrast to the tourist experience of a beautiful paradise. I found run-down corrugated iron houses surrounded by broken fences and scattered litter. This was the real picture of a third world country.

“In the Kindergarten where I worked the children were on the go from the minute I walked in.  This group of 50 five-year-olds were certainly a handful, but their smiles showed their innocence and passion for life. About half the class had rotten teeth and dirty uniforms, poverty was certainly clear in this part of Fiji. 

“We played a simple alphabet game but the effect on their enthusiasm and pride as they were able to recite the alphabet was lovely to see.”

Before she left, Katy experienced the traditional ‘Kava’ ceremony - an important aspect of Fijian village life. ‘Kava’ ceremonies are held to celebrate marriages, births and deaths, or in Katy’s case a welcome to Fiji.