International Nutrition Internships in Fiji
- PLACEMENT LOCATION: Nadi
- ROLE: To work within local village communities addressing the main health issues facing the people of Fiji
- REQUIREMENTS: None
- TYPES OF PLACEMENTS: Community-based
- ACCOMMODATION: Host family
- LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 2 weeks
- START DATES: Flexible
Projects Abroad has developed a Nutrition, Health, and Wellness program working with village communities in Fiji, which aims to tackle some of the main health issues that have resulted from poor diet and unhealthy lifestyles. Our Nutrition project adopts a practical, hands-on approach and you will work directly with Fijian people at a grass roots level.
The prevalence of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes and heart disease among adults in the Pacific Region is one of the highest in the world, according to the World Health Organization. These diseases cause up to 80% of all deaths in Fiji. As a Nutrition intern, you will help raise awareness of NCDs and educate communities on how to prevent them.
This project is based in three underprivileged villages near to Nadi, which is on the west coast of Viti Levu. You do not need any previous experience to get involved, but you do need to have an interest in healthy living and making a difference in developing communities. You can get involved as part of a gap year, career break, or volunteer vacation. This internship is also great for pre-med students or health care graduates who are looking to gain experience in an alternative field of medicine.
Interning on the Nutrition Project in Fiji
The main focus of the project is to assist villages with competing for a nutrition award. Our local staff have chosen three low-income communities to participate: Saravi, Nakavu, and Navakai. During your time abroad, you will work closely with these villages, helping each one follow a set of procedures to reach their goal of improved health and wellness.
Each step below represents a weekly visit by interns and staff:
- Health screening
- Analysis, presentation, and action planning
- Implementation and monitoring of action plan
- Action plan activities
- Secondary screening / action plan activities
- Review of screening and action plan / action plan activities
- Implementation of reviewed action plan / action plan activities
- Reviewed action plan activities
Overall, the Nutrition project takes a holistic approach to addressing all aspects of NCDs. This includes identifying health issues, education, and empowering people to take better care of themselves and their families.
Did you know? Fijians struggle with both under nutrition and over consumption, due to a shift towards consumption of food high in energy but low in vitamins and minerals.
Every intern will be involved in the health screening process, targeting the four key modifiable behavioral risk factors - tobacco use, physical inactivity, an unhealthy diet, and the harmful use of alcohol - which increase the risk of developing NCDs. Based on the results, you will help the village work on the steps above.
Interns on this placement will also have the chance to run nutrition and health awareness classes in three different schools, with three year groups. You will help educate around 300 children, as well as the teachers and other local staff.
Your Role as an Intern on the Nutrition Project
As an intern on the Nutrition project you will be able to help people from rural communities in Fiji who do not have easy access to health care and health education. You will receive training when you arrive and be fully supported by our Projects Abroad Fiji team. As this is an on-going project, you will have the opportunity to work on existing cases, as well as being assigned your own individual cases within the three participating villages.
Nutrition internships in Fiji are available for shorter periods than 4 weeks. While you will be able to gain valuable experience on a short-term trip, we recommend staying for a longer period to allow yourself more time to get to know the local health care system, see more of a variety of conditions and procedures, and develop stronger relationships with local medical staff.
While you’re in Fiji, you might also consider joining a 1 week Culture & Community Project. For more information, please visit our Community Village Project in Fiji page. Our Combinations Page explains how you can combine not only projects, but also destinations.
The Nutrition project staff was awesome. I had so much fun with them! During my stay, I always felt like I could voice my thoughts and opinions and that I would be heard out. I felt like I was really playing a part in the project and was appreciated for my work. They also were able to educate me on so much from local foods to rates of diseases to everyday lessons. Read more...