Fiji is an archipelago of more than 300 islands in the South Pacific. It is famed for rugged landscapes, palm-lined beaches and coral reefs with clear lagoons. Despite many of its islands remaining unpopulated, Fiji is one of the most populated countries in the Pacific. Its cities are booming; its population is growing, with over half the inhabitants now prefer living in the cities and towns. Its major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, contain most of the population. Viti Levu is home to the capital, Suva, a port city with British colonial architecture and Nadi, the country’s central transportation hub. Nadi is home to a Hindu temple, Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami, and the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, full of orchids and hiking trails.
Poverty remains a significant concern in Fiji, despite the overall level of development and the moderately high average incomes, with more than 250,000 people trapped below the poverty line. Rural and remote island communities are particularly vulnerable due to their lack of access to clean water, sanitation, health care, and other government services. According to the latest estimates, about 140,000 people nationwide live in over 200 informal squatter settlements. Besides having no proper legal title to their homes, most lack basic amenities such as piped water, sewerage, and electricity.
In Nadi, a coastal town in the west of Fiji’s main island, an estimated three-quarters of the inhabitants live in the slums in the periphery. This raises logistical and planning problems. The people in the city’s outskirts need essential services: sufficient clean drinking water, toilets and washing facilities, and safe living space.
Habitat for Humanity Australia works closely with families in Fiji to improve their access to safe, affordable housing. Through the Global Village program, volunteers help make the dream of a decent home a reality for these families, which include people living with disability or illness, child-headed households and older adults. Over the course of a week, volunteers work shoulder-to-shoulder with deserving partner families and local tradespeople to build forever homes, develop true camaraderie and create lasting memories. Unite with other like-minded individuals for an unforgettable and impactful experience where you will enjoy the wonders of the colourful Fijian culture and the warmth of its people, make new friends and change lives – including your own.
Through shelter, we empower.