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Volunteer stories


The less obvious impacts of Cyclone Pam

Published on 21st April 2015


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The less obvious impacts of Cyclone Pam

When a cyclone tears through, the immediate concern is for yourself, your neighbours, your village and your island. Read More

Tourism is cruising along in Vanuatu

Published on 2nd April 2015


Tourism is cruising along in Vanuatu

VSA has supported tourism development in Santo for a number of years. Jim Bennie is currently volunteering as Business Management Adviser with Elwood J Euart Association, based in Luganville, Vanuatu. He writes about the progress of tourism development in Espiritu Santo. Read More

A day in the life of a volunteer in Tonga

Published on 26th March 2015


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A day in the life of a volunteer in Tonga

Lesley Young takes us through a day in her life as an Adviser at the Women and Children Crisis Centre in Nuku'alofa, Tonga. Read More

Working with Narea Rural Training Centre in Vanuatu

Published on 9th March 2015


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Working with Narea Rural Training Centre in Vanuatu

Kurt Schmidli volunteered in Vanuatu from January 2013 to January 2015. He was on assignment as a Business and Marketing Adviser with the Anglican Church of Melanesia, working with their Rural Training Centres (RTC). He was accompanied by his wife and fellow volunteer, Christine, who worked as a Curriculum and Training Adviser... Read More

Sliding slowly into the past

Published on 3rd March 2015


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Sliding slowly into the past

Christine Schmidli volunteered in Vanuatu from January 2013 to January 2015. She was on assignment as a Curriculum and Training Adviser with the Anglican Church of Melanesia, working with their Rural Training Centres. She was accompanied by her husband and fellow volunteer, Kurt, who worked as a Business and Marketing... Read More

Mucking in for a hospital garden in Vanuatu

Published on 9th December 2014


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Mucking in for a hospital garden in Vanuatu

Jill Greenhalgh is on VSA assignment with the Farmers' Support Association in Port Vila. She writes about spending her spare time volunteering for a local gardening project. Read More

Waste Management and Health – Vanuatu

Published on 20th October 2014


Waste Management and Health – Vanuatu

Mary O’Reilly, volunteer Waste Management Adviser at Sanma Provincial Council and Luganville Municipal Council, writes about the link between waste management and health. Read More

Festival on Futuna

Published on 24th September 2014


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Festival on Futuna

Karen is volunteering as Programme Manager and Disability Adviser with CARE International, based in Port Vila, Vanuatu. This month, she went on an intrepid journey to visit Futuna Island. About 700 people live there in three main communities. Read More

Improving services for Samoa’s tourism industry

Published on 11th September 2014


Improving services for Samoa’s tourism industry

On Samoa’s “Big Island” of Savai’i, VSA volunteer Sara Roy has been working alongside tourist operators, fale owners and other small business people to put this beautiful part of the world on tourists’ must-see lists. Read More

A day in Lautem, Timor-Leste

Published on 9th September 2014


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A day in Lautem, Timor-Leste

Julia Sherriff is volunteering as an Early Childhood Programme Adviser for ChildFund. She has written about a recent home visit in a village outside of Dili. Read More

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Recent comments


  • Comment by Mary Little on The less obvious impacts of Cyclone Pam
    "Hi Michele, donations made to VSA’s Cyclone Pam Vanuatu appeal will be used to enable us to work with our partners over the coming weeks and months to support the recovery (you can donate by clicking the orange button at the top right of this page). Our upcoming assignments in Vanuatu will be developed with our partners to address their needs, including cyclone recovery, so if you are a potential volunteer or know someone who could be, keep an eye on our vacancies page. Another way to help the people of Vanuatu is to remember it still a wonderful place to visit, and that tourism income is vital to many people's livelihoods. Thanks for commenting and for wanting to help.
    Mary (VSA comms officer)." - Mary Little
  • Comment by Jill on The less obvious impacts of Cyclone Pam
    "What a job. Well done for your efforts, Mary. After 3 weeks recently with no collection we've now had two weeks of reliable collection. It makes you feel much better when your home environment can be kept clean. There has been a noticeable increase in flies so regular collection is really helpful. I can't say I've noticed much reduction in the lighting of fires, yet! On Tuesday I got back to work smelling of bonfire smoke which I couldn't avoid on my way back after lunch. Oh well, there are worse smells." - Jill
  • Comment by Michele Rees Williams on The less obvious impacts of Cyclone Pam
    "What is the greateat need at present..what is the best help you can receive short and long term from overseas" - Michele Rees Williams
  • Comment by Mary Schmack on The less obvious impacts of Cyclone Pam
    " So glad we have volunteers with your insights and problem solving skills in areas with extensive devastation Mary. " - Mary Schmack