VSA has been working in Vanuatu since 1965. Our volunteers help to strengthen economic development within tourism and agriculture, develop rural vocational education, support health initiatives, empower youth and improve waste management and water infrastructure. VSA has a field office in Luganville, Sanma Province, staffed by a Programme Manager and a Programme Coordinator.
Vanuatu is situated on a volcanic archipelago of 86 islands where traditional lifestyles exist side by side with modern tourist resorts. Around 110 indigenous languages are still spoken by an average of only 2,000 people per language, making it the country with the highest density of languages per capita in the world.
The majority of people living in Vanuatu are Melanesian. It is a predominantly Christian country. Vanuatu culture retains a strong diversity derived from regional variations and an adherence to kastom (traditional practices and lifestyles).
Vanuatu's economy is primarily agriculture-based and engages approximately 80 per cent of the population. Copra, kava and beef make up more than 75 per cent of total agricultural exports, with agriculture accounting for around 20 per cent of GDP.
What we’re doing in Vanuatu
The Vanuatu programme strategy is guided by Vanuatu 2030 The People’s
Plan which prioritises social and economic development, as well as economic
growth, with a vision of a stable, sustainable and prosperous Vanuatu. The
Plan focuses on improving the wellbeing of the people (society); protecting
and enhancing the environment, and maximising opportunities for shared
VSA currently works with multiple partners in Vanuatu on a range of assignments, including:
- Department of Water Resources (DoWR) - in partnership with Engineers without Borders NZ, VSA volunteers are helping to improvewater infrastructure in multiple locations.
- Port Vila and North Province Hospital (Luganville) Hospitals – working alongside doctors, nurses, surgeons, hospital staff to enhance capabilities and skills.