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VSA in 2015

Published on 31st December 2015


Our volunteers have spent 2015 working with our Pacific neighbours to improve life in countries that hide poverty beneath blue skies.

 

Each volunteer has made changes that will last long after they’ve left – and they, in turn, return home transformed. Most of all, they’ve made enduring connections with people throughout the wider Pacific, as these 12 gorgeous pictures from 2015 show.

 

The year began with a demonstration of how vulnerable the region is, when Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu. Our staff and volunteers there have worked with their partner organisations and the Vanuatu Government in the months since to “build back better”:


VSA volunteers working on recovery in Vanuatu

 

Regrowing a country

 

House in Vanuatu, devastated after Cyclone Pam

House in Vanuatu, following Cyclone Pam

 


The cyclone’s effects are far-reaching, and in many places, now exacerbated by the growing drought and an El Niño cycle which is likely to bring more, stronger, cyclones:


El Nino, drought and the cyclone season

 

Effects of El Nino

The roads in Kiribati are regularly below sea level

 

 

Pam’s impact on education, industry, agriculture and people from all walks of life has shown how important VSA’s work in creating resilient communities is. Our volunteers have worked across the board to do just this. They have worked to empower women, protecting them from violence and giving them opportunities to be independent:

International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women

 

 

Photo of Sister Lorraine and counterparts in Bougainville, PNG

The Sisters of Nazareth Rehabilitation Centre in Bougainville runs four safe houses for women and children escaping domestic violence

 

 

They’ve enabled communities to protect their most vulnerable children, by providing safe water, nutrition programmes, and access to good health and education services:

 

Building schools in Solomon Islands

 

The young Pacific

 

Social protection: key message for World Food Day 2015

 

 

Solomons vignette photo

Grainne Blount and Sydney Takubala, deputy principal of Sasamunga High School

 

 

They’ve worked in areas healing from conflict, and have supported communities to find peace:

Peace-building in Bougainville


Trekking for good

 

 

My counterparts and I being welcomed into a village before conducting a tourism and environment awareness workshop

Volunteer Paul Bedggood being welcomed into a Bougainville village



They’ve worked with communities to lift incomes – allowing families to escape poverty and provide opportunities for their children:

 

The power of 632 joining forces to increase incomes


Selling soybeans a Kiwi success story in Timor-Leste

 

 

Tennant Fenton in Timor-Leste

Volunteer Tennant Fenton helping soybean farmers



We wish everyone a peaceful holiday, and look forward to continuing the good work in 2016.

 

Ngā mihi mahana o te wā me to Tau Hou.

 

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