Vorovoro

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Vorovoro is an island in the province of Macuata in the Vanua Levu Group of northern Fiji, 40 minutes away from the town of Labasa by boat.

Vorovoro island is inhabited by the Mali tribe, a traditional Fijian tribe which also has villages nearby on both Mali Island and Vanua Levu. Vorovoro is home to Tui Mali (the Chief of the Mali Tribe) and his family, as well as the Vorovoro Cultural Centre.[1]

Between 2006 and 2011 the island was run by Tribewanted, a self-described "unique community tourism project".[2] During this time, the island and the project received extensive media coverage,[3] including a five-part BBC documentary called Paradise or Bust.[4]

In 2012, the Mali community began a partnership with Bridge the Gap, a non-governmental organization that assists communities with sustainable community development.[5] Bridge the Gap partners with Vorovoro in the planning and execution of Vorovoro’s community development goals and to bolster Vororovo’s global outreach opportunities while maintaining the integrity of the tribe’s rich cultural heritage and working to protect the local natural environment.[6]

The partnership uses a multipronged approach for reaching these development goals. This approach includes business mentorship programs, sustainable agricultural training, infrastructure support, and networking with various international organizations.[7]

However, the most unique approach may be the formation of a Fijian-run eco-tourism business; facing pressures to develop Vorovoro island into a profitable tourism enterprise owned and managed by foreign investors, Vorovoro leadership had wanted a way to retain control of their traditional community home. By opening their home to a limited number of (predominately student) visitors each year, Vorovoro has been able to take control of tourism on their land while creating a source of income for the Mali community.

In collaboration with Bridge the Gap, Vorovoro has formed a partnership with the Auburn University College of Human Sciences to develop and offer a unique, accredited study abroad program focused on cultural immersion, environmental awareness, and global sustainability.[8] During the study abroad program, students live on Vorovoro while engaging with the local culture and studying various methods of community development. In order to build on the increasing momentum that the Auburn University partnership has had on Vorovoro's development, Bridge the Gap has begun to expand with Arizona State University and other major universities. Vorovoro plans to continue to expand their tourism business to other interested universities as well as through worldschooling family programs and dive trips. [9]

After Bridge the Gap intern (Sibley Barnette) studied abroad on Vorovoro with Auburn University, she brought her father, Dave Barnette, to the island in 2018 to gain the unique experience that Vorovoro has to offer. This visit resulted in Dave writing an article for the Washington Post, "Too much seawater, not enough drinking water: Fiji's fight to withstand climate change." The article has helped to shed light on Vorovoro and has served as a spark for future tourism development.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Trio of native Fijians share culture, love for Auburn University on recent visit". Auburn University. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  2. ^ Tribewanted: Tribewanted
  3. ^ Tribewanted: In the media
  4. ^ BBC - Press Office - BBC Two Winter/Spring 2008: Programmes M-S
  5. ^ "Fiji volunteer travel | Bridge the Gap: Vorovoro's Open Island '18". Fiji volunteer travel | Bridge the Gap: Vorovoro's Open Island '18. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  6. ^ "Fiji volunteer travel | Bridge the Gap: Vorovoro's Open Island '18". Fiji volunteer travel | Bridge the Gap: Vorovoro's Open Island '18. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  7. ^ "Fiji volunteer travel | Bridge the Gap: Vorovoro's Open Island '18". Fiji volunteer travel | Bridge the Gap: Vorovoro's Open Island '18. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  8. ^ "Auburn University College of Human Sciences". humsci.auburn.edu. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  9. ^ "Fiji volunteer travel | Bridge the Gap: Vorovoro's Open Island '18". Fiji volunteer travel | Bridge the Gap: Vorovoro's Open Island '18. Retrieved 2018-04-27.

External links[edit]

  • [1] Bridge the Gap: Vorovoro Island
  • [2] Washington Post: Too Much Seawater Too Little Drinking Water
  • Vorovoro travel guide from Wikivoyage

Coordinates: 16°20′29″S 179°18′37″E / 16.34139°S 179.31028°E / -16.34139; 179.31028