TOURISM SHOULD EMPOWER, NOT EXPLOIT. The native people of Vorovoro Island, Fiji, want to learn to use tourism as a tool to create positive change in their community.
To learn more about us, please follow these links for more detailed information about our plans and our future:
Our StartSomeGood Venture Page
Our Facebook Page
Our Goal: To raise the initial funds needed to re-open Vorovoro Island, Fiji, as an eco-tourism village community experience in April 2013.
This intiative will serve as a platform for connecting the Vorovoro community with business education and mentorship opportunities, enabling them to utilize the tourism industry in positive ways as local business owners.
Invest in Tourism that Empowers
Bridge the Gap Villages will enable the native Fijian community of Vorovoro Island to harness the power of their international tourism potential in sustainable ways by:
1) Partnering to establish a small-scale, community-based eco-tourism destination that the community will gradually learn to own and operate for themselves.
2) Connecting the Vorovoro community with culturally relevant business education and mentorship opportunities that will support future business development endeavors in their community and beyond.
3) Using a dynamic business model that incorporates the employment experience with cultural & vocational apprenticeship, business education, and mentorship, we will help empower the local community to pursue and achieve their goals of generating sustainable income through small business ownership.
Read more about the details of our plans HERE.
View photos of our rewards
The Vorovoro Community
In the rural paradise of Vorovoro Island, Fiji, few job opportunities exist. Villages depend on a subsistence-base lifestyle supplemented by occasional income from fishing and farming. Poverty is high, and local marine eco-systems are suffering significant damange caused by over-fishing.
The community of Vorovoro want to strengthen their economic situation, but they don't want to compromise the integrity of their culture, land, or way of life to do it.
The Vorovoro Experience
The visitor’s experience of Vorovoro could be called many things – voluntourism, beach holiday, cultural immersion, adventure travel, nature travel – and they would all be correct. Ultimately, your time on Vorovoro is whatever you decide you want it to be!
Fijian culture is rooted in community and hospitality, and visitors to Vorovoro can expect to be welcomed like family. The native people of the Vorovoro community are genuine and gracious, and effortlessly extend their hospitality to create what has been called a perfect visitor's experience. Many people have describe feeling as if they have “come home”.
Life on the island is simple yet fulfilling, a rare opportunity to experience what it’s like to slow down, unplug, and connect. For many of us, it’s our first opportunity to experience first-hand sustainable living practices. Fijian culture is known for its playful and joyful approach to life, and laughter is often the background music to which we live, work, and play.
So what will you do with your time on Vorovoro?
There are endless possibilities on Vorovoro, and most visitors enjoy a comfortable mix of island recreation, cultural immersion, and contributing to our collective impact through participating in local community initiatives.
The Vorovoro experience has the potential to create lasting and positive change for travelers who join our global community; it’s meaningful and responsible travel like you’ve never experienced before. Please click HERE to learn more.
The Primary Objectives For This Campaign Are To:
- Hit the ground running in April. This means refurbishing all existing accommodations and island infrastructure, re-establishing solar and wind power, and providing a reliable means of transport to and from the island. We have carefully timed our launch in April to coincide with peak season of reed harvesting for new roofs as well as the end of the rainy season to maximize good conditions for building.
- Prime the project for success by letting the world know about it. This means establishing effective initial marketing channels through use of social media, our website, and local and global partnerships.
- Lay the foundation for the business training and mentorship program. This involves working with the landowning family and local craftsmen, artisans, and laborers to teach the skills necessary to manage the tourism operation—and eventually own it outright.
- Empower Fijian employees to plan and launch small businesses of their own, in their community and within the region’s burgeoning tourism industry, creating a cycle of opportunity that reaches into the broader Mali tribe.
Bridge the Gap Villages can be successful only with the engagement and support of socially-conscious people like you. Your generous support encourages responsible and sustainable tourism development that benefits both local people and travelers alike.
TIPPING POINT: $35,000
To effectively open the island up for visitors in April 2013, we require a bare minimum of $35,000 USD. Here’s what we will accomplish with that sum:
- Travel to Vorovoro Island in March 2013 and begin work with our Fijian partners to source and purchase reeds, bamboo, timber, and tools needed for the refurbishment of the island’s existing accommodation and gathering structures.
- Organize a local building and labor crew to begin the process of rebuilding and refurbishing, starting with accommodation buildings.
- Purchase necessary supplies to accommodate visitors (mattresses, pillows, cooking supplies, and linens, which will be tailored by local seamstresses).
- Replace the batteries for the island’s solar power and make solar and electrical repairs and improvements.
- Repair existing water catchments and plumbing, which provide both drinking and bathing water for island guests.
- Cover such practical and operational expenses as Fijian work visas, lease payments for the first 3 months, and fair wages for the local craftsmen and laborers who will be working to prepare the island for visitors.
- Provide a phone and 3G internet access so that we can maintain contact with guests and our social media following.
- Rent the boats necessary for transporting guests to and from the island.
TOTAL FUNDING GOAL: $110,000
If we are fortunate enough to meet our larger goal, we can:
- Build additional accommodation options and enlarge and improve the cooking area.
- Purchase additional water tanks to increase our rainwater catchment capacity for farming.
- Lay the foundations for our sustainable employment and business mentorship programs.
- Begin creating and purchasing environmental curriculum for the Mali District School in collaboration with the local teachers.
- Upgrade our technical equipment.
- Implement our marketing plan to let the world know about Vorovoro.
- Cover initial operating expenses while the project ramps up.