Improving mental health outcomes
AVI assignments are helping change the efforts made to improve education and advocacy in Fiji’s mental health sector. This has been done through training the local staff, providing support to local civil society organisations working in mental health to develop and implement peer support, social and recreational activities and income generating activities. Supporting the Government Divisional departments in the decentralisation efforts of mental health services and programs in Fiji is also a focus of the AVI assignments.
Improving education outcomes
Through assignments that provide teacher training and support curriculum development, AVI volunteers are helping improve education outcomes in Fiji. AVI is committed to the concept of inclusive education but also recognises the need for Special Schools for children that need additional support. AVI provides continuous support to the special schools in Fiji by helping to build capacity of the local staff and help develop more efficient systems and processes.
Improving livelihoods and rural development
Poverty mapping clearly indicates high levels of poverty in the sugar belt regions of Fiji in Western Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. This is also seen in the peri-urban settlements that have sprung up around Suva, Lautoka and Labasa. A diversified income generation approach is being looked at to provide people in these rural localities with alternative and sustainable sources of income as well as acceptable levels of social services and infrastructure. Currently the facilitation of viable sustainable farming practices amongst famer’s groups on Taveuni and in the Western division is being conducted. This is done through capacity building methods such as soil schools, model farms and farm visits as well as Arts and Crafts initiatives in the North have been developed.
Recognising the large number of Civil Society Organisations in Fiji and the current capacity of these organisations in influencing change in Fiji, volunteers have contributed to strengthening good governance in these organisations. AVI assignments support civil society organisations and institutions in Fiji with the development of strategic plans, financial and project management, mentoring and training local staff and helping to set up procedures, and write organisational guidelines.