Our medical volunteers do not need any prior medical knowledge or training. They come from all over the globe, learn, and pitch in to train medics in outer island villages. Get to know them here:
Kristy runs a youth recreational program at a YMCA in New Zealand.
Her life-long interest in staying active, the outdoors and traveling led her to seek out volunteer opportunities abroad. She hopes to continue traveling with a purpose as much as possible!
Ella is Craig’s younger sister. Back in 2014, she sailed with Craig on a short leg of his trip from Tongatapu to Vava’u and saw the original sparks ignite in Craig as he realized the need for medical training in the outer villages.
Three years later, Ella has returned to Tonga as a medical volunteer. Oh her fi
rst night in Vava’u, she attended our first ceremony in Matamaka village where she got to experience the connection made between the village and the volunteers who worked there. She entered our second village, Otea, with an intention to connect with the medical trainees and community members in a big way.
After a few years of travel and personal exploration, Ella will soon enter a three-year program focused on natural medicine. She has thoroughly enjoyed living in a communal environment aboard Infinity, and hopes to bring a shared community element into her future career as a natural healer.
Taylor saw Craig give a presentation in 2016 about the Floating Foundation Ricoh, her place of work and a supporter of our projects. The idea of volunteering for the first time, immersing herself in a new culture, and living in a community stuck with her, so she came on board!
As a Sales Assistant and Major Account Liaiason at Ricoh, Taylor has mastered the art of organization and task management. But “Tonga time” is not just a saying – it’s a real thing. She has enjoyed being part of a project that has no choice but to go with the flow sometimes and hopes to bring the same sense of ease and relaxation into her life back in New Zealand. She is headed back to Ricoh with a new sense of motivation and hopes to continue volunteering in the future.
Fabio left his hometown of Treviso, Italy nearly 1.5 years ago to live in Auckland, New Zealand. He entered the field of nursing with ambitions to join a huminatarian aid organization as a nurse, and after working for two years in a nursing home, he set out to improve his English as a step toward fulfilling his dreams.
He took a holiday from his role as a pizza chef to come onboard and give his dream a bit of a trial run. He calmly and professionally handled multiple medical emergencies for patients in Otea Village and has one more life experience to add to his incredible journey.
Chantal connected with The Floating Foundation a few months back, after we sent through a partnership inquiry to her place of work, Global Work & Travel Co., and has been helping to spread the word about us ever since. In her Supplier Relations role, Chantal looks for untapped organizations with a focus on volunteering; she aims to connect individuals with organizations that are truly making a difference.
Chantal finished school at age 16 and set out on her own to continue studying and working in Holland in order to fill the year-long gap between high school and when she was allowed to enter University. She has also studied in Canada and France, and will now head to London to continue working and studying for the remainder of 2017 before heading back home to Australia. Even though she’s technically a part-time student, Chantal chose an accelerated track and will finish University this year.
Her interest in the NGO world stems from growing up with activist parents. Chantal had the opportunity to follow her mother to Thailand, where she founded a charity that rescues street dogs. The charity has plans to expand to Mayanmar in the coming years. She’ll continue to focus on partnering with NGOs through Global Work and Travel Co.
Guillaume met Craig and Ayla at a festival last January where they sang along to Guillaume’s guitar.
Originally from Quebec City, Canada, Guillaume is currently a citizen of the world. He put his engineering career on pause and ventured out to see the world 261 days ago as of today.
Guillaume has worked as a farmhand in multiple countries, worked as a fruit stand operator, hiked Mt. Doom during a stretch of time spent in the New Zealand countryside, and took a job as a pizza delivery guy in Queenstown.
Guillaume came onboard to make a difference in local communities and gain skills he’ll keep with him for the rest of his life.
Lucy considers New Zealand her home base, but generally lives where she works. At just 25, she has quite the laundry list of global experiences.
Lucy was paiting houses at a sheep station on the Wairarapa before joining us in Tonga.
Previously, she has done demolition work, loaded blueberry trucks, sold knives, taught
languages, and worked as a nanny. Lucy doesn’t travel to visit; she travels to live. Through work immersion and a strong desire to be able to communicate well, she has become fluent in French, Spanish, and Portuguese and is learning Italian.
Lucy is spending four months as a volunteer in Tonga – first with us, and then with the University of the South Pacific. I’d be willing to bet she’ll be fluent in Tongan by November.
Paris is originally from Sydney, Australia, but is going into her 3rd year at Tulane University in New Orleans. She swims competitively for Tulane and is double majoring in Neuroscience and English with a hope to eventually attend medical school.
Paris has a desire to immerse herself in the Tongan culture, take on the role of teacher as opposed to student, gain a new perspective and explore the coral reef through scuba diving.
Sam earned his degree in Biology at University of Iowa and entered medical school one year ago at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.
When he got the call from medical school admissions, Sam was hiking the Grand Canyo
n, and had to climb a tree to get enough reception for the call to come through. Sam squeezes as many adventures as possible between academic periods. He has lived on a boat in Ecuador, worked as a ski instructor in Colorado, and spent time traveling around South
America. It’s no surprise that he’s leaning toward specializing in emergency medicine.