Read the latest news and updates from volunteers, partners, and staff across the moana working collectively towards a world with thriving communities.
Savai’i Tourism Goes Digital
The Savai’i Samoa Tourism Authority (SSTA) is an initiative by the Samoan government that was formed to address issues that face the tourism industry in Savai’i. VSA volunteer, Ruby Sparks, is tasked with building a website for the SSTA, where visitors can access information about the services and experiences on offer in Savai’i.
From Darkness to Light — Helping Restore Sight in Vanuatu
In early 2019, the Fred Hollows Foundation NZ opened the new Vanuatu National Eye Centre in Port Vila following a $2.5 million upgrade and expansion of the previous centre. The upgraded eye clinic and increasing eye care workforce have gone a long way to strengthen eye care services in Vanuatu.
Post Cyclone Assessment in Vanuatu—Putting Recovery Plans into Action!
As of 10 March 2023, the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) in Port Vila reported some 251,346 people (about 80% of the population) and 30,000 households in all six provinces in Vanuatu had been exposed to the impacts of the cyclones. Authorities are assessing the full extent of damages.
Family Planning to Reproductive Health—Samoa Reaches Out to its Youth!
Grace works as a Youth Programme Mentor at Samoa’s Family Health Association (SFHA), whose mandate is to deliver family planning and reproductive health services. Grace’s role is to help the SFHA recruit youth for its volunteer committee to run outreach programmes across Samoa.
Vanuatu’s World War II Museum—Beyond Preserving the War History to Equipping Local Schools with Resources
Ask Miranda Williamson what her favourite part of living and working in Vanuatu is and she has no hesitation. “Storian,” she says.
It’s a term that’s particular to the people of her adopted home, where Miranda has taken a role as Museum Promotions and Archivist Advisor with the South Pacific World War II Museum, based in Luganville.
Improving Dental Services in Vanuatu—One Step at a Time!
It’s a “second-time lucky” case for Marlborough couple, dental therapist Andrea Carr and her husband, David Hart, who have restarted their volunteering adventures in Vanuatu after the Covid pandemic scuppered David’s first assignment.
Located in the central Pacific Ocean, Kiribati consists of 33 coral islands making it the largest coral atoll in the world and the only country to cross all four hemispheres! Let’s take a look at this ‘Christmas Island’ known for its diverse culture and incredible guest hospitality.
Sue Marshall is an Inclusive Education Advisor from Te Awahou (Foxton) and her second assignment with VSA took her to Rarotonga. Here, she worked with the Cook Islands Ministry of Education (Maraurau o te Pae Api’i’) supporting services for inclusive education.
Recently Graham Gibbs returned to volunteer again after 50 years to support an archive project as part of our work to capture the history of VSA volunteering. We asked Graham to let us know his thoughts and wanted to share them with you.
On March 1, 2023, Cyclone Judy a Cat 4 Cyclone, hit Port Vila with a vengeance. The cyclone was followed two days later (March 3) by another Cat 4 cyclone, Kevin. This was the first time in recorded history that Port Vila had experienced two cyclones in one week.
Like many experiencing the rippling effects of the global pandemic, Molly says the lockdown gave her time to assess her current priorities which then lead to exploring options that would fulfil her desire to connect with communities.