Meet Lottie Oatts, our newest Campus Celebrity! As a keen member of the Cal Soc Committee and social sec of Polo, this girl is busy around campus! Yet she is still finding time to get involved in the ‘Exeter Students to Fiji Project’. We caught up with her to hear a little more about it!
Name: Lottie Oatts
Year: 2nd Year
Hi! So what is the project all about?
Hi, thanks for having me! We have two 4 week projects heading out in the summer, 11 June – 9 July or 23 July – 20 August. These projects are geared towards making a real impact to sustainable youth and sports development projects and inspire Fijian children living in poverty. The volunteer teams will begin their project with a 2 day briefing at a beach resort and then spend three and a half weeks living with families in a remote and traditional Fijian community while carrying out the sport and youth projects. At the end there is a chance to kick back and relax with the rest of the team at a beach resort! This project also presents a very unique opportunity to learn about the Fijian culture, their lifestyle, diet, leisure activities and also the beautiful scenery.
How did you get involved?
I went on one of Think Pacific’s gap year projects on my year out and absolutely fell in love with Fijian lifestyle and culture. As soon as I returned, I was itching to turn right back around and get on the first flight back out! Thankfully the Think Pacific team have taken me on board and I can’t wait to get back out there this summer.
What are you most looking forward to about the project?
I think heading up these youth and sports developments with children who haven’t had such opportunities before is a very exciting prospect. Last year, the Leeds Beckett volunteer team was even able to rent out the Fijian national stadium! Also, returning to the relaxed, happy attitude of the Fijians is definitely something to look forward too.
What are your aims with the project?
The aims of the project are to support poor and rural primary and secondary schools, from teaching and assisting within classrooms, leading kindergarten projects, coaching sports, developing rugby and netball and leading a huge variety of youth clubs in all areas of art, drama, music and games. This project is also geared towards university students and so aims to develop CV applicable skills. For example, for anyone interested in becoming a teacher, this offers immense experience to develop your knowledge and skills within the classroom, whilst making a key difference to the educational development of rural Fijian children under the banner of the Fijian Ministry of Education.
How can you find out more about the expedition?
We have a Facebook page ‘Exeter Students To Fiji’ or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more information. Also there is a PDF document with a more detailed description of the expedition information which is available on the Facebook page or by emailing me!
How much does it cost? And where does the money go?
The expedition costs £975 for 4 weeks. Of this fee £375 covers all your food, travel and accommodation while you’re in Fiji, the other £600 is a donation to the Think Pacific Foundation which was set up to help unemployed Fijians gain work experience through apprenticeships with Think Pacific. It also goes towards a number of building projects across Fiji from building kindergarten schools to installing fresh running water into remote villages.
Find out more on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ExeterStudentstoFiji?fref=ts