Fiji 2019 tentative trip dates:
Fiji 1: June 8th – June 22nd, 2019
Fiji 2: June 22nd – July 6th, 2019
Fiji Rotary: July 15th – July 29th, 2019
estimate historical cost: $3,800
*dates and cost are subject to change depending on flights
Fiji is known for its beautiful beaches, lush vegetation, and rich cultural traditions. However, in recent years, Fiji has experienced the devastating effects of climate change. In 2016, the northeast corner of Viti Levu was severely hit by Cyclone Winston, damaging homes, roads, crops, and coral reefs. Youthlinc now works in the small village of Narikoso located in Mataso District in the Province of Ra (about 1 hour from Rakiraki, Fiji). This village was directly hit by Cyclone Winston and is still recovering over two years later. There are approximately 180 villagers who are primarily subsistence farmers growing bananas, pineapple, passion fruit, papaya, corn, cucumber, beans, and root crops.
One of our main projects is to build bathrooms onto existing homes to improve sanitation. Currently, 3-4 families share a bathroom facility with a toilet and shower. Last year, the Youthlinc team funded 8 bathrooms and we will continue to build more bathrooms every year. We couldn’t have the impact we do without the guidance of our In-Country Coordinators, Shahana Didar from the Rotary Club of Suva Peninsula Sunset and Pastor Tomasi Tokalauvere, who have been instrumental in coordinating everything from transportation to construction materials. But don’t worry, we don’t only work hard, we take time to play by visiting Voli Voil beach and snorkeling on Nanauira Island.
2019 Fiji 1 Team Leader: Cindy Haglund
I am so excited to be the Team Leader for Fiji #1 this year. Youthlinc has become a big part of our family since my oldest daughter went to Kenya four years ago. Since then, I have also gone to Kenya with both my daughters, and this last year I went to Fiji with my daughters and my husband. Youthlinc has been an amazing experience for many of our family members, and I am excited to be able to lead a team to Fiji. I have been an elementary school teacher for 20 years and have worked with many children from around the world. One of the things I have loved the most is being able to work with children in the schools in both Kenya and Fiji, and see how their schools are different and gain a better understanding of where my students have come from and how they live and are educated.
I am the mother of 6 beautiful children, plus 3 wonderful daughters-in-law, as well as 4 (soon to be 5!) grandchildren. They are the light of my life and we love to be together and specially to travel together! I love to travel and Youthlinc has helped me combine my love for new adventures with my love of doing humanitarian work and service for people all over the world. I can’t think of a better way to spend the summer than teaching children, building bathrooms, meeting new people, and working with an amazing group of young people and adults! I look forward to this year and working with all of you! Vinaka, and Bula Fiji!
2019 Fiji 1 Assistant Team Leader: Sarah Baxter
Sarah Baxter is a business student at Salt Lake Community College. She has traveled with Youthlinc to Kenya in 2016 and to Cambodia in 2017. She loves Youthlinc’s mission to create lifetime humanitarians and is very excited to be an ATL to help others realize how important and easy service is. Sarah can’t wait to meet her new Youthlinc family and travel to Fiji with them!
2019 Fiji 2 Team Leader: Scott Bawden
Scott’s journey in “Youthlinc Land” began in 2010 when he and his son went to Kenya. Scott was a mentor for the Vocational Committee and taught computer skills and baking (Now that’s a combo!).
In 2011, he was asked to be a Team Leader and the rest is history. This year marks his 8th year of being a Team Leader and 9th trip overall. 5 times to Kenya, once to Thailand, Nepal and Peru and now to Fiji. All 3 of his children, Kevin, Jaclyn, and Jill have participated in Youthlinc. All 3 have been on multiple trips and all have been Assistant Team Leaders. His lovely and talented wife was also able to go to Kenya in 2016 after many years of being the strength behind the scenes. She even had a baby named after her in Kenya!
Scott works at the University of Utah and is the Associate Director of IT for the School of Medicine as well as owning his own IT company. He also takes care of Youthlinc computers. In his spare time, he loves going to U of U football and basketball games and accompanying his wife to gymnastics meets at the U. He also loves golfing and jeeping. If you see a big red Jeep with Ute logos all over it driving down the road, Scott is probably behind the wheel.
His favorite thing about being a Youthlinc Team Leader is that he gets a front row seat to watch 40 people’s lives change. He is excited to make his first trip to Fiji. “Youthlinc has changed my life and the lives of my wife and children and I will be indebted to this wonderful organization for the rest of my life. I hope to continue staying involved with Youthlinc for many years.”
2019 Fiji 2 Assistant Team Leader: Kelsie Kinikini
Kelsie Kinikini is a freshman at Southern Utah University. She’s doing generals right now and will be majoring in psychology. She LOVES Youthlinc. She served her first year as a student on the Kenya 2016 team and the next year on the Cambodia July 2017 team as an alum leader. She’s so excited to be back! Local and international service has become such a big and important part of her life and can’t wait to share that passion with her team. This year is going to be life changing, you’ll see!