RISE Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering that is fun and rewarding!

Since 2012, Sea Mercy has organized over 50 remote island projects with over 300 international volunteers participating. The idea of volunteering and working on a beautiful and exotic remote island can be very appealing, but it can also be challenging if your perspectives are not clear. Sea Mercy's new RISE Program is a 4+ week event (you can join us for 1, 2 or all 4 weeks) that encompasses many projects and goals within it for the remote islanders. Below is additional information; what to expect, what does it cost, how can you help, and what projects and volunteer opportunities are available.

Our purpose is to inspire and empower the people of Batiki and other remote islands to bring about this desire to change and to maintain these programs once trained.

What to expect

RISE is a land-based program that strives to help return the islanders to the healthy, self-sustaining and thriving communities they once were through health, education and agricultural based programs. Our purpose is to inspire and empower the people of Batiki and other remote islands to bring about this desire to change and to maintain these programs once trained. As you board the Sea Mercy landing craft and leave behind the capital city of Suva, you will step back in time to a more simple and rustic period (no power or plumbing) as you join the incredibly happy and appreciative villagers living on the remote island of Batiki.

As a volunteer, each week you will be living in a tent community along with 10-20+ other international volunteers (1-4 per tent). You will join the local villagers for your three primary meals and experience some amazingly delicious local cuisine (from bread, fish, potatoes, fruit, tea and more). Shower and bathroom facilities will be rustic, but effective. Days will be warm, but a gentle breeze will keep you cool most of the time and the nights are perfect and filled with stars. All you will need to bring is your clothing and any personal items (sunscreen, mask & snorkel, fins, flashlight, camera, etc.) that will make your trip more comfortable and enjoyable.

What does it cost?

First week: $550
Each additional week: $350

As with all of our programs, our RISE Program is designed to be all-inclusive for our volunteers and budget neutral for Sea Mercy from the moment we pick you up and transport you the 30 miles by sea to Batiki (you are responsible for your airline costs to and from Fiji and any housing costs prior to or following us picking you up). Our various projects costs (in US dollars) are funded by our partners and sponsors. The higher initial week cost to volunteers is to cover your transport fuel costs ($200), and the lower consecutive weekly cost is to help us offset the volunteer food, housing, medical supplies, and support equipment costs during your time with us.

Volunteer dates:

You can join us for one, two or all four volunteer weeks. Our only requirement is that your volunteer weeks are consecutive and follow the RISE Volunteer Transport Schedule.

    Week 1 (August 6-14th)
    Week 2 (August 14-21st)
    Week 3 (August 21-28th)
    Week 4 (August 28-September 4th)

How can you help?

With the numerous types of projects that make up our RISE Program for Batiki, there are so many ways to use your skills and talents to help. Below is a list of the projects; who is leading the project; international interns working directly with the leadership; local interns who we will be training to become future project leaders; the skills needed for each project; the number of volunteers we need for each project; the length of the Program; and the RISE project goals. If you are interested in learning more about volunteering for the RISE Program and/or to reserve a spot with us, click on the Volunteer Button and complete the RISE Volunteer Registration form.

RISE Program Leadership:

RISE Program Director: Richard Hackett, President, Sea Mercy
RISE Soils Training Director: Mike Smith, President, Organic Matters Foundation
Fleet Director: Jonathan & Donna Robinson, Sea Mercy
RISE Program Regional Representative: Te Tevodi
Batiki Leadership Representative:

RISE Projects:

Soils Training

Leader: Mike Smith, Organic Matters Foundation
International Assistants/Interns: Trey Hackett, Oregon State University, Global Agricultural.
Local Interns:
Skill sets desired: Organizational skills and patience
# of Volunteers needed: 2-4 support staff volunteers
Program weeks: Weeks 1-4
Program Goals: Assist and encourage 30 local Batiki farmers to complete the requirements of the three Soils Training classes (4-day Introductory, 4-day Advanced, 2-day Masters) and encourage, support and empower them to implement what they learned during the classes. The ultimate goal of the Soils Training program is to help the four villages (300+ people) on Batiki to become a healthy, self-sustaining and thriving community.

Economic Development

Leader: Callum Drummond, President, Bula Batiki
International Assistants/Interns:
Local Interns:
Skill sets desired: Construction,
# of Volunteers needed: 4-6+ volunteers
Program weeks: Weeks 1-4
Program Goals: 1. Training class for Virgin Coconut Oil production and equipment preparation (clean room, scraper, press and storage containers). 2. Training class for Dilo Oil production and equipment (drying shed, press and storage containers). 3. Fulfillment training processes for end users (getting the production to Bula Batiki). 4. Build clean room production and storage buildings in each village to insure VCO and Dilo production follows the highest standards.

Health Impact Research Study

Leader: Dr. Kevin Campbell
International Assistants/Interns:
Local Interns:
Skill sets desired: Nurse, Physician Assistant, Doctor, Pharmacists
# of Volunteers needed: 4-8 healthcare volunteers
Program weeks: Weeks 1-2
Program Goals: 1. A1C testing of all 'at risk' villagers in order to track the impact the RISE Program had on their lives over a 5+ year period. 2. Pre- and post diet, physical and emotional health evaluations and lifestyle changes (exercise) resulting from the program. 3. Document and track the results of replacing many of their currently available food groups (purchased processed foods) with locally grown and organic healthy foods.

Cinematography

Leader: James & Chantal Fine, President, Telecine, Inc.
International Assistants/Interns: Joey Hungerford, University of Oregon, Cinematography Graduate. Madison Hungerford, University of Oregon, Global Studies
Skill sets desired: Cinematography, camera, lighting, sound, drone piloting experience, underwater camera
# of Volunteers needed: 2-4+ volunteers per week
Program weeks: Weeks 1-4+
Program Goals: To professionally capture and produce a video for the following: 1. Complete Soils Training video (Intro, Advanced and Masters) to empower our future program leaders (local and international). 2. Each RISE project that is being implemented for future RISE Program promotion and training purposes. 3. Documentary on the complete RISE Program during the 4-6 week program.

Transport

Leader: Geoff Deutschmann, Captain, Sea Mercy Landing Craft
International Assistants/Interns:
Local Interns:
Skill sets desired: Labor, crew experience
# of Volunteers needed: 2 volunteers per week
Program weeks: Weeks 1-4
Program Goals: 1. The pick-up and drop-off of the equipment and supplies from Suva to Batiki for the various RISE program projects. 2. Weekly pick-up and drop-off of RISE program volunteers from Suva to Batiki over the 4 week program (every Monday).

Land Preparation

Leader: Mike Smith, Organic Matters Foundation
International Assistants/Interns:Trey Hackett, Oregon State University, Global Agricultural
Local Interns:
Skill sets desired: Labor, farming, gardening, tractor, rototiller, chainsaw
# of Volunteers needed: 5-10+ volunteers per week
Program weeks: Weeks 1-4
Program Goals: 1. Help implement the individual planting project goals for each local farmer following the Introductory training class. 2. Assist the local farmers in the clearing and preparation of their farmland for planting. 3. Assist the local farmers with the planting of their targeted seed and seedling crops.

Volunteer Healthcare Clinic

Leaders: Dr. Kevin Campbell
International Team members:
Local Interns: Local nurse.
Skill sets desired: Doctor, Nurse, Physician Assistant
# of Volunteers needed: 2+ per week
Program weeks: Weeks 1-4
Program Goals: 1. Oversee RISE Program medical supplies provided by Sea Mercy. 2. Observe, evaluate and treat local and international RISE program volunteers during their volunteer time. 3. Work with, train and learn from the local Fijian nurse on Batiki.

Nutrition

Leader: Alvina Deo, Senior Nutritionist, National Food and Nutrition Centre, Fiji government
International Assistants/Interns:
Local Interns:
Skill sets desired: Nutritionists, diabetes experience, farming, gardening
# of Volunteers needed:2-4 volunteers
Program weeks: Weeks 1-2
Program Goals: 1. To teach and train the village school children on proper nutrition. 2. To teach and train village on proper nutrition and healthy living.

Irrigation

Leader: Mike Smith, Organic Matters Foundation
International Assistants/Interns:Trey Hackett, Oregon State University, Global Agricultural
Local Interns:
Skill sets desired: Construction, plumbing, farming, roofing, irrigation
# of Volunteers needed: 3-6+ volunteers per week
Program weeks: Weeks 1-4
Program Goals: 1. Install water irrigation tanks - 5,000 liter water tanks for each farm location (8). 2. Build water catchment, guttering and pipes for water tanks (8). 3. Run appropriate irrigation pipes/hose for gravity fed drip irrigation (100 meter x 8).

Sports/Exercise

Leaders: Kim Yeater, President, Super Bodies In Motion (www.superbodiesinmotion.com)
International Assistants/Interns:
Local Interns:
Skill sets desired: Experienced volleyball players (collegiate preferred, high school accepted)
# of Volunteers needed:8+ volunteers during the 4 week program (start to finish)
Program weeks: Weeks 1-4
Program Goals: 1. Deliver and install professional volleyball poles and lines (metal poles in concrete) in each of the four villages (labor assistance provided). 2. Professional volleyball net and balls for the four villages. 3. Encourage, develop and train 2-3 teams (youth, adult and mature) within each village over a 4 week period for the upcoming RISE UP tournament. 4. Coach those teams during the final tournament weekend (last weekend of RISE program).

Aquaponics

Leader: Mike Smith, Organic Matters Foundation
International Assistants/Interns: Trey Hackett, Oregon State University, Global Agricultural
Local Interns:
Skill sets desired: Aquaponics experience, plumbing, construction, labor, solar panel and battery storage, off-grid living
# of Volunteers needed: 2-4 volunteers
Program weeks: Weeks 3-4
Program Goals: 1. Aquaponics training program. 2. Base level aquaponics system (planting beds, fish tanks, equipment and starters) delivered and installed for the most 'at risk' village.

Trauma Recovery Program

Leader: Counselors Denice Mackenzie (RN) & Bob Mackenzie
International Assistants/Interns: Renee Loheed, Stephanie Hackett
Local Interns:
Skill sets desired: A willingness to be trained to lead future Sea Mercy Trauma programs following natural disasters
# of Volunteers needed:2-4 volunteers
Program weeks: Weeks 1-2
Program Goals: 1. To encourage local villagers who went through Cyclone Winston to participate in the Trauma Recovery program. 2. Assist local villagers in working through and healing from any recent or past traumas that are affecting their lives and health. 3. To train future local and international volunteers to be local and future Trauma Recovery facilitators.

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