Volunteer heads for Fiji
A longtime volunteer in Bermuda, Josette Matthew will step outside of her comfort zone when she heads to Fiji on Thursday.
The Sandys native will join a two-week childcare and community support project in the Pacific island country, after finishing her job at HSBC at the end of June.
“I'm hoping to get a feel for the Fijian culture,” said Ms Matthew, who has been working part-time at The MarketPlace supermarket to top up her bank balance.
“It's comfortable volunteering in your own country, so I wanted to come out of my box. It's going to be an eye-opener.”
Ms Matthew first heard about the International Volunteer HQ programme two years ago during a church service, when another participant shared their testimony on serving in Thailand.
She decided that, when the time was right, she would take a break from the corporate world to broaden her horizons — selecting Fiji as her brother and his Fijian wife will also be there on vacation during her trip.
“I figured it would be the perfect time and the perfect place,” she said.
“I've ordered some books, just so I can get familiar with the customs of the country.”
In Bermuda, Ms Matthew volunteers at events such as the End to End challenge and the film festival, as well as at Pals cancer care. But her true passion lies in helping disadvantaged youngsters — serving as a board member at the Continental Society of Bermuda children's charity, and reading stories to schoolkids as part of the YouthNet mentoring programme.
“I just enjoy seeing the smiles on the children's faces,” she said. “They need so much of our assistance, especially children from broken homes who don't have the parental or community support.”