It’s not for nothing that Fiji has a global reputation for diving as well as having some of the most spectacular scenery and one of the most vibrant cultures. Warm, clear waters, full of life and colour very much mirror the people of Fiji and perhaps ones of its most key selling points, its community.
Multi-coloured fish, magnificent macro life, exquisite soft and hard corals and crystal waters are a major attraction for any marine enthusiast and so finding projects like those run by GVI in such locations makes accessing all of this wonder vastly more easy to achieve.
GVI is nestled on the stunning island of Caqalai, which lies just south of Moturiki. The tiny and perfect island is a true wonder, off the beaten track with golden beaches, palm trees and an incredible reef. To stroll around the whole island takes no longer than 15 minutes. The island may be small but it has a community that run a quaint resort offering basic bures to passing guests and is neighboured by the GVI crew and base.
As one of the most well respected and prominent international volunteering organisations in the world, GVI has geared its objectives towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These set of goals focus on sustainable development in the economic, social and environmental fields.
The main passion that I noticed behind GVI is to make viable changes and contributions to all of its projects and participants with a strong mission to build a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.
The Scuba News UK are always looking for projects and experiences for UK divers and conservation enthusiasts to take part in, whether it be because they are getting into marine biology, diver training or conservation. The site run by Clare Ogg is a busy marine science and training station with various volunteers, scholars and students studying all year round and this really does set it aside from other projects. It is a whole year working base and is continuously welcoming new teams and divers. We caught up with some of them.
Volunteering is rich and fruitful is numerous ways. It gives you the opportunity to learn and share skills, to get to know a new culture and immerse yourself in a new community, to help people, to earn academic credit, to donate your professional skills, for fun, to travel, to help change things and have an impact, to be an advocate and to learn about another way of living.
The Scuba News UK supports projects like this because we have a real drive and passion to follow ocean protectors and educators. Living in a generation that needs to care more about what’s going on with our seas and environment, makes it even more key to know where to go to get involved and to learn about how we can help change and sustain our oceans and resources. We believe in GVI’s mission to make a difference and that this can be done by the small steps of individuals.
GVI offer everyone the opportunity to learn and dive on a remote and beautiful island and to experience another culture who’s community is heavily revolved around the marine World as a major food source and addition to the their tourist industry. You don’t need to be a qualified diver to head out to GVI; in fact you don’t need to have any prior knowledge or understanding of marine biology or of fish and species. The trained team will teach everything on site and tailor courses to individual needs and requirements. It is quite an impressive base with various in and out of water activities going on at all times. Fish ID and threats to coral reef lectures going on, emergency first response and diver courses underway as well as Dive master training and community projects.
The obvious respect for the ocean environment was clear on base. Chatter around the dinner table often echoed the promotion of creating aware divers. There was always a real emphasis on not touching, feeding or handling fish, plants and corals underwater and that ethos was stressed on a daily basis. There was defiantly a sense of training divers to take on the joint responsibility of trying to make a difference and starting to do that from an individual level.
The staff team were just wonderful and extremely knowledgeable. It was a real pleasure to spend time with all of them and hear about not only their own personal journeys but also their professional ones at GVI. It really is very true that likeminded people end up in similar places and so there was always a lot to talk about, past dives, most amazing dives, favourite marine creatures etc.
We adored visiting GVI and will absolutely return in the future. If you are looking to learn to dive from scratch, do some marine based work, teach or learn some new skills they are definitely an organisation that we would recommend.
Photography by Radoslaw Krol