National Scholarships for Disadvantaged Youths

by Global Vision International Charitable Trust
Vetted

Dear Supporters, 

Recently we have shared with you 2 stories about our latest National Scholars in Fiji. Today we would like to tell you a little bit more about the National Scholarship Program (NSP) in Fiji and how it is growing. 

Since 2013, GVI Fiji  has  provided  opportunities to local candidates to join the Marine Conservation Expedition with the aim to further inspire and equip locals with the tools and skills required to reach their full potential in the fields of Marine Science and Conservation. Capacity building is a key focus of GVI’s long- term objectives and the National Scholar Program allows students to gain  the  relevant training and  practical  field experience that is otherwise rarely available. 

In June 2015 GVI Fiji partnered with the University of the  South Pacific (USP), to give high-performing marine science  undergraduates  the  opportunity to join the Marine Research Program for 4 to 12 weeks on Caqalai Island, in the Lomaiviti group.

That July, Caqalai received its first NSP candidate through USP and in January 2016 a further two NSP candidates joined the programme, with more scholars expected to join the program throughout 2016.

GVI Fiji provides NSP candidates with training in three core areas: SCUBADiving, Survey/ Science Training and Community Outreach. Candidates gain hard to find field experience, particularly in an underwater environment, as well as the chance to put theory into practice and develop critical employability skills. As local marine scientists, the scholars are the future custodians of the reef and the skills gained on the program help build stronger environmental leaders, as well as enabling candidates to form a global network with like­minded participants from all over the world.

GVI Fiji is rewarded with additional local expertise within its Marine Research Program and the opportunity to identify future potential staff. The NSP also has the potential to broaden its reach outside of Fiji as GVI can accept applicants from all 12 of USP’s member countries. Scholars from neighboring Pacific countries can then take the knowledge and skills gained with GVI back to their home nation, with the hope of having a positive influence on regional marine conservation efforts.

As the NSP gains momentum, GVI Fiji is keen to welcome the  next USP graduates to  Caqalai and hope to develop the scheme by opening applications to Master’s degree students in the near future.

GVI Fiji is committed to training local participants in marine monitoring techniques,environmental education and climate adaptation methodology on Caqalai Island and GVI Fiji look forward to strengthening the partnership with the University of the South Pacific and further developing the National Scholarship Program to equip candidates with the skills needed to become future conservation leaders within their home country and on the international environmental stage.

Thank you for your generous support!

With Gratitude, 

GVI FIJI

Links:

Dear Supporter, 

Krystelle is the most recent member of our National Scholarship Program in Fiji. She participated as a 4 week volunteer on our marine expedition and this is what she'd like you to know. 

Before I tell you about the experience let me first introduce myself to you. I’m a recent Marine Science graduate, a typical Suva City girl. With that being said, the second thing I need to tell you is THE ISLAND IS NOT EASY. Don’t get me wrong, it has chill days but you are coming for a conservation internship, not a vacation. You will be thrown into shared accommodation with people you literally just met before you got on the boat. Hot days where the sun feels like it’s following you around, long hard working days and vegetarian food only [as you can tell I’m carnivorous!].

Now all the terrible parts are out of the way if I haven’t traumatized you too much here’s what you get in return.

You get the best staff and mentors one could ask for, you get the “postcard” background to every photo you take. You wake up to the sound of birds and the ocean, with the occasional bark from the two residents guardians-Reena and Sai! You get to dive in the most pristine waters and see the delicate balance of a reef system first hand.

This is just the overall awesome goodness of the Island.

Personally, my experience started on a bumpy road [the kind that makes you want to go back home], I got dehydrated on the first week- yes I am Fijian and I got dehydrated so hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! While on the mend I went on a simple snorkel, I learned more in that 30 mins then I did in a whole semester of school. It’s great to have a background in this stuff but it’s useless if you don’t know a thing about what they look like in the wild.

When I finally got back to 100% I got certified, on my last open water dive, I met 3 turtles, a ridiculous amount of fish and colors to put a rainbow to shame.  

Without sounding cheesy or cliché, I’d give up so much more for this experience, I’ve received support and help for every possible situation. I count every person on the Island as family, I’ve been inspired to save the oceans and given the practical tools to accomplish this. My mind has been opened up to an insider outsiders perspective. As a Pacific Islander, I couldn’t see a better way to conserve what has fed our Pasifika for generations.

I’ve only spent 4 weeks on the Island but it feels like 4 years with the knowledge and experience it’s given me. Thank you GVI I could never repay you for what you’ve given me.

With Gratitude, 

Krystelle

Links:

Ana on one of her dives
Ana on one of her dives

Dear Supporter, 

We are so pleased to share Ana's story with you. She is our first National Scholar in Fiji. We asked her to tell us about her time on base with GVI, and she described it as an 'experience of a lifetime'. Here is her story!

"The GVI National Scholarship Programme provided me with the opportunity of a lifetime that will be embedded in my memory forever. I had no idea of GVI whatsoever but came to know of it later when I met Elizabeth at a Turtle Conservation Workshop and then Dr. Susanna Piovano offering me an opportunity to join volunteers on a tiny island somewhere in the Lomaiviti Group.

I received the message on the hilltop of Makogai Island trying to get phone reception and jumped of joy when I learnt that I was going to learn how to dive, survey, volunteer amongst other things with a group of volunteers from all over the globe. The excitement was overwhelming and I was quite fortunate to be the first local included in the programme."

Learning

I learnt diving and earned my open water and advanced open water qualifications together with other learners on the programme. We also learnt how to survey reefs while I also completed my Emergency First Response with the help of Jay. We had formed a close-knit bond during our two months together on the island and I am glad I have made good friends. Not only were we taught how to dive but since it was a Marine Conservation Base, we also had to learn invertebrates, fish and benthics that are found on the reef. These lessons definitely enhanced my knowledge of invertebrate identification. 

Apart from academic and diving, volunteering in schools was a huge aspect of my experience there. We went to the local schools on Moturiki island and took 2 hours classes with the students teaching them subjects of concern such as healthy living, oral health, cleanliness and many more. 

Fun Memories

Fun dives were awesome and meeting turtles and white tip sharks were amazing. Seeing the humpback whale was breath-taking. The island games and the volleyball sessions were epic but most of all, sitting around the tanoa at the end of the day and chilling with friends who I have come to call family. 

These opportunities are possible only with your generous donations- we thank you!

With Gratitude, 

GVI Charitable Trust

Links:

Dear Supporter, 

This weekend was a historical one- the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) have been adopted by the UN and we here at the GVI-Charitable Trust are very excited!

Goal number 4 is Quality Education- ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all. This is exactly what the National Scholarship Program (NSP) aims to achieve and we are so looking forward to re-focusing and working towards this goal in the coming years. 

The NSP is the flagship initiative for the GVI-CT and it aims to provide young people who otherwise wouldn't have access, opportunities to help them reach their full potential. It brings young people, local to our projects, onto the program to receive training, mentorship and work experience. While they are on project, they can expand their skill sets, meet people from all over the world, gain confidence, grow in a personal capacity and enhance their employment opportunities. 

Here are the specific goals that we aim to work towards:

  • By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship. 
  • By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development

We are also very excited and honored to have been included and featured in the Global Giving campaign linked to the new global goals. We are so looking forward to seeing this project go from strength to strength in the coming years. 

Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to bring you news of some of our current scholars in the next reports!

With Gratitude

GVi-Charitable Trust

Links:

Dear Supporter, 

The National Scholarship Program has been supporting a local Thai resident at our Chiang Mai project since February. He will be with GVI- Chiang Mai for a 6 month scholarship. 

The goal is to support local partners in developing aspects of the Thai Elephant project, which aims to create a viable model for ethical elephant tourism. In addition, the goal is to provide support to local Thai nationals to develop skills involved in running the GVI Thai Elephant Project and therefore, benefit the scholar in future endeavors in the field.

The scholarship program aims to include:

  • developmental training in English
  • scientific research skills
  • presentation skills
  • project management.

The scholar benefits from direct interaction with English speakers thereby increasing their colloquial skills and fluency. Scientific studies carried out by the project add support for the legitimacy of the project to a wider community. Staff will work in direct contact with the scholar to teach them all the scientific skills related to research and analysis carried out by the project. The scholar will be given the opportunity to apply their management and leadership skills with the support of the staff through the development of their own project. This project will require the understanding of health and safety on an international scale, training other individuals, management and organization of community activities and detailed understanding of GVI’s long term goals.

The overall goal of the scholarship program at the Chiang Mai base is to provide an opportunity for a local individual to develop skills of their own interest that relates to the overriding goals of the project with the ultimate aim of sharing knowledge and skills between both parties.

One of the community goals is that the scholar will help us to bridge the gap between GVI and the local community so that we can foster more involvement and understanding. 

Watch out for our next report which will give you more details about the scholar and his personal experinces on the project and working for and with GVI. 

Thank you for your continued and generous support. 

Best Wishes, 

GVI-Thailand

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Global Vision International Charitable Trust

Location: Exeter, Devon - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​www.gvi.org
Project Leader:
Kate Robey
Exeter, Devon United Kingdom

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