In response to the New Zealand Government urging New Zealanders overseas to consider returning home as soon as possible VSA has made the very difficult decision to return all current VSA volunteers and accompanying partners to New Zealand as soon as possible.
We have made this decision to ensure:
- Our volunteers’ individual health and wellbeing is looked after.
- All volunteers can return to New Zealand before there are restrictions on commercial travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- We do not place any extra burdens on partner organisations, communities and the health infrastructure in the countries where we operate should the pandemic worsen.
- All volunteers can be with their whānau at this difficult time.
We know this will be very disappointing and unsettling for everyone, but we have not taken this decision lightly. This is a unique situation which we have never faced before, and we have to make decisions based on the welfare of our volunteers and the communities where we operate.
We remain completely committed to our work in the Pacific and will be returning to our partner communities and organisations when we can. We will review our programmes and the viability of individual assignments before the end of May.