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Clint’s February Visit to Fiji in Preparation for Four Fantastic New Programs in 2013

Almost 10 months had passed since my last visit to Fiji. It was fantastic to be back, particularly in the highlands of Viti Levu- one of the best places in the world. I was extremely fortunate to be able to make this trip, in preparation for four Destination Dreaming programs running in Fiji in 2013.

This was also a fantastic opportunity to check in with the community projects Destination Dreaming has supported in recent years. We are thrilled that the Nasivikoso Village Primary School is finally completed and operating. This project is something that Destination Dreaming and its participants has been supporting since 2008, including raising over $16,000 for the construction of the school. It was an amazing feeling to walk up the hill and see the school looking so polished and perfect, and with the village so proud of this achievement.

Destination Dreaming has also been in discussion with the Methodist Church Humanitarian Department regarding installation of a water filter for the village. It was great to be in the village with representatives of the Department to plan the delivery of $6,000 of funds to install another SkyJuice filter for the benefit of the school.

The Fiji Islands, like many tropical destinations, have had a tough few years with floods, cyclones and other natural disasters. In December 2012, an extremely destructive tropical cyclone, TC Evan, damaged many villages in the western division of Fiji, including areas our partner communities are situated. We are really pleased to have four fantastic programs in Fiji this year, and are excited to bring some support and new partnerships to these amazing communities.

During my February visit, it was great to check in with these communities in planning for the 2013 programs. This is going to be a really exciting year for Destination Dreaming in Fiji and the great schools we’re working with, and we look forward to bringing continued updates of the programs and projects to you.

You can see some photos from the trip by clicking here

From New Zealand to Remote Fiji for Father and Son

Destination Dreaming’s Program Director Clint Miller, led our first Family Tree Program for 2012 in April.

Clint was joined in the Fijian highlands by father and son, Tony and Matt, from Rotorua in New Zealand. Over 7 days, Tony and Matt immersed themselves in the local village life; learning about the family-oriented community, participating in a traditional welcoming ceremony, rafting on a bamboo bili bili, trekking and spending time in the local kindergarten.

Listen to Tony and Matt talking about their experience in the clip below:

At the conclusion of the program, 51 year old Tony said ‘Clint is a great leader and facilitator. The Fijian village experience was an opportunity of a lifetime and the people are so friendly. I highly recommend Destination Dreaming to any father wanting to connect with their children. 19 year old Matt said that ‘it was an enlightening experience and I can’t wait to come back.’
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Term 1: Kicking Off at Home and in Nasivikoso’s New Primary School

It’s wonderful to be starting another school year. We hope you are excited as both Destination Dreaming and the village of Nasivikoso are to be kicking off 2012.

Today is a special day for the village of Nasivikoso, Destination Dreaming and the many program participants and supporters who have contributed to the construction of the village’s first primary school. Today class begins for students in grades 1 to 3. Instead of walking over 2 hours to the closest primary school and saying goodbye to their family for the entire week, the young students will walk a couple of hundred metres to their brand new village school.

Heading back to Nasivikoso in April is just one of the programs we’re looking forward to in early 2012. Also in April will see a 6-day program in Maasailand, Kenya and a visit to the Sunshine Coast as part of the AHISA Conference.

Have a wonderful week- look forward to hearing from many of you keen to get involved in a program this year.

Destination Dreaming Joins with CreatiVITI Fiji and WWF Partner Scuba Bula

Are you looking for an amazing new learning opportunity in 2012? We are excited to be partnering with two fantastic Fijian organisations in the coming year. Schools and community groups will now have the opportunity to support traditional art and craft education, or combine reef conservation with a diving experience.

In 2012, we are looking forward to linking local schools with rural Fijian schools, to deliver a series of art workshops. As art is not currently part of the Fijian curriculum, this is an extremely valuable project that will see Australian students engaging with their Fijian peers, to create art pieces reflecting their respective cultures and stories. We will be facilitating this program beside CreatiVITI Fiji, a Fijian, not-for-profit arts and craft organisation that promotes traditional Fijian art. Read more

Laying the Foundation for Nasivikoso Primary School, Fiji

This Monday the 11th of November was a very special day for Destination Dreaming and Nasivikoso, the Fijian village we have been working with since 2004. We were honoured to be a part of the foundation laying ceremony for the Nasivikoso Primary School. We joined with the village to bless the school site and pour the first load of concrete. An amazing moment, that wouldn’t have been possible without the wonderful support of our past participants and supporters in Australia. Vinaka vaka levu. Read more

Dreaming Project Milestone! Fijian Village School Approved and Teacher Funding Secured

Destination Dreaming received some extremely exciting news in our inbox this week. Nasivikoso Village, home to our longest partnership in Fiji, is now one step closer to their own primary school.

Currently, the village’s children must walk for almost two hours to attend school at a neighbouring village, a journey which becomes dangerous and often impassable in the wet season. We are thrilled to report that after 18 months of negotiation, the Fijian Ministry of Education has this week approved the establishment of a school in Nasivikoso and funding for a teacher. Read more

Dreaming Project Success! Funding Secured for Clean Drinking Water System in Fiji

After 14 months of lobbying for funding and assistance, Destination Dreaming has been advised that the Rotary Pacific Water Foundation has approved our proposal for funding for a water project in Fiji. The grant is to provide access to clean drinking water for the remote village of Nasivikoso in the highlands of Vitu Levu, Fiji. The grant includes all piping, fittings, water tanks, professional tradesperson, as well as construction and maintenance training of the system for local villagers. The grant will also provide material to thoroughly clean and secure the water source (natural spring) for the village and protect against waterborne diseases. The work is expected to be finished on the 24th of June 2011 and will be officially commissioned the following week. Read more

Dreaming Project (Fiji) Progress Report and Vinaka Vaka Levu for 2010 fundraising achievement of $16,000!

Destination Dreaming Program Coordinator, Clint Miller, has returned from our final visit to Fiji for 2010. He provides a Dreaming Project progress report…

“Another amazing and successful trip to Fiji. It was certainly a different experience travelling solo- my final trip for 2010 was the first time in years that I have travelled to Fiji without an expedition or project team.

The past 8 days provided a fantastic opportunity to develop further project opportunities and consolidate progress to date. Not to mention a quiet surf at Cloudbreak one morning!
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Program Coordinator Clint Miller makes final Dreaming Project trip to Fiji for 2010

Destination Dreaming Program Coordinator, Clint Miller, has headed off to Fiji for our final visit of 2010, to consolidate this year’s Dreaming Project work.

Clint is to meet with the Fiji Government’s Head of Education, and has proposed a meeting with the Attorney General of Fiji regarding government support of health and education projects in rural Fiji.

Clint will also be consulting with potential builders in relation to the planned construction of a primary school in the Nasouri Highlands in 2011.

Earlier this year, Destination Dreaming funded the purchase and delivery of a water filtration system to a village in the Nasouri Highlands. This December visit will also involve a discussion with the village elders to plan the installation of a clean water system in the village in 2011.

With only 8 days in Fiji, Clint is not too optimistic about getting a chance to surf his beloved Wilkes Passage!

Program Manager Kate Miller leads UNESCO Program in Kenya

Destination Dreaming Program Manager, Kate Miller, left today for two weeks in Kenya, leading a project team from UNESCO Observatory at the University of Melbourne

Kate is working with UNESCO Observatory Director Lindy Joubert, and project leader Emmanuel Parsimei, Director of the Maasai Community Concern and Networking organisation, on a Maasai Cultural Village project in the Rift Valley.

The project team, comprising a professional architect, marketing expert and engineering, law and economics students, is conducting an initial design and investigation for a cultural village to preserve the crafts, heritage and skills unique to the Maasai people. The project aims to promote the exchange of knowledge and build and nurture an active role for community members to preserve and promote their cultural skills.
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