New Zealand volunteer service celebrates 40 years of partnership With Vanuatu
19 March 2005

“2005 is the 40th anniversary of New Zealand’s Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) development partnership with the people of Vanuatu.” The New Zealand High Commissioner Mr Paul Willis said during the signing ceremony.

The ceremony marks the new agreement over the VSA activity in Vanuatu. The agreement ceremony was signed by Deputy Prime Minister Honourable Sato Kilman and Mr. Ross Cassells Pacific Field Representative (PFR) and a VSA from Wellington.

VSA has had a long and successful partnership with New Hebrides/ Vanuatu starting way back in 1965.

“Over those forty years, 150 New Zealand (or kiwis) volunteers have served in Vanuatu. They have brought a diverse range of skills to Vanuatu, they included teachers, doctors, nurses, trades people, geologists, agriculturalists, librarians, computer specialists and quantity surveyors. The beauty of these diverse islands and the friendliness of the people of Vanuatu have always made it a popular assignment for New Zealand VSA volunteers.” Mr. Willis said.

Commissioner Willis said that the kiwis who have served as volunteers have been enriched by the experience of living and working with another culture. This has been beneficial for both New Zealanders and ni-Vanuatu and has played a part in building a closer relationship and better understanding.

“Eight kiwis currently serving here continue the long and unbroken partnership between VSA and Vanuatu and they too reflect the diverse areas of work of New Zealand volunteers in financial IT service support, capacity building for both pre school and secondary teachers, maritime training, environment and Woman’s affairs.” He said.

Mr. Willis stated that the agreement signed this month between the two working parties provides a sound basis for VSA’s ongoing support for development in Vanuatu at the grass roots and national levels.

The Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) is a New Zealand based, non-profit, development organizationsends skilled people to partner organizations and communities in developing countries.

From: Port Vila Presse, Vanuatu

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