Updated: Mar 29, 2018
Sustainable tourism. Adventure travel. Life-changing. This is the Open Island Initiative in remote, northern Fiji. By participating in the Open Island Initiative, not only will you get to experience Fiji like very few have before you, but you will have the opportunity to learn a new way of life, to be still and have time for deep self-reflection, and to leave a positive mark on Vorovoro, which will set the stage for living a more meaningful life once the Fijian sand is gone from between your toes.
Are you convinced yet? Let’s dive a little deeper into how you will be able to make a difference for the Mali tribe on Vorovoro. While you will learn how to live like a Fijian: fishing, harvesting coconuts, weaving mats, and more;you will also have the opportunity to participate in current initiatives during your time in Fiji. Currently, Bridge the Gap and the entire Mali tribe are working to raise enough money to be able to build a new kindergarten building for the Mali District School. The current building used for kindergarteners is not structurally sound and is at a high risk of collapsing at any time. If you are interested in donating, follow this link. In hopes that the funds are raised before the Open Island, then construction of the school will begin this summer. As an Open Island visitor, you would be able to take part in this extra special project for the Mali people. Tasks could range from construction to painting to organizing. What better gift than the gift of education and what more meaningful experience than to literally lay the foundation for the future? No resort could offer you this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Other initiatives that you can partake in include the upcoming apiary and honey business, learning the ins and outs of the coconut oil and soap business, building a trail over the four peaks of the island, and participating in a homestay experience on a neighboring Mali island. The honey business has been a dream of many Fijians for some time now, and that dream is finally becoming a reality. If you have never harvested honey, suit up for a uniquely sweet chance to see what all of the buzz is about. Those who live on Vorovoro permanently make coconut oil and soap as a source of revenue (every year, BTG partners are the largest buyers of these products). Learn how these labor intensive products are harvested, made, and sold, and take some home with you!
It’s one thing to talk about climate change; it’s another to view the endangered beauty of Fiji from Vorovoro Island’s four peaks. These summits have life-changing views over the South Pacific,, and this year a trail will be built so people can easily hike the island. Lean more about the wildlife on the island, sweat, and take it all in while helping to create this trail. And finally, take an even deeper look into what FIjian life is like by staying a few nights with a Mali family in their home. In just a short time, you will gain a deeper admiration for what everyday life is like on an island,as well as how easy it is for strangers to be transformed into family.
More on the theme of family:when you arrive to Fiji, Tui Mali will welcome you into his family, and he isn’t just saying that. You will soon learn the significance of the saying “1+1=1,” and just by being present and committing your entire self to your experience in Fiji, you will gain a new family and a softer heart. Something beautiful happens when you start to live and think differently than you’re used to; you’re now able to emapthize with others like never before, feel every emotion more deeply, and love more purely. The Fijians will show you unprecedented amounts of love and respect, which enables you to do the same. It does not matter that we come from different places, all that matters is that we are there, on Vorovoro, together learning, growing, laughing, and loving. This is a priceless gift that is exchanged between visitors and the Fijians through BTG.
Now that you know both the tangible and intangible effects that you can have on the Mali tribe and vice versa, are you ready to book your spot for the Open Island Initiative?! Let’s go! Ready to make a difference? Ready for a trip that will make a difference in you? That’s the sustainable spirit of Open Island 2018. Incredible beauty and hospitality—at an incredibly sustainable value.
You can help the Mali tribe and BTG partners right now just by spreading the word about Open Island. Share. Tweet. However you do it, Vinaka (thank you) for your continued interest in Bridge the Gap. We look forward to seeing you on Vorovoro soon!
The Bridge the Gap Team