Published on 1st February 2016
Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) today signed a three year Memorandum of Understanding with the Pacific Community (SPC) to work together to assist Pacific Island countries and territories to achieve their development goals.
The partnership was signed in Wellington, New Zealand, by the Pacific Community Director-General, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, and VSA Chief Executive, Dr Gill Greer.
“I’m delighted with the resolve of our two organisations to complement one another’s efforts for the benefit of Pacific Islands people by calling upon New Zealand’s wonderful volunteering spirit,” Dr Tukuitonga said.
SPC works across 25 broad sectors including fisheries, public health surveillance, geoscience and plant genetic resources. Cooperation between the two organisations dates back to 2013 involving SPC’s Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems Division, the Forum Fisheries Agency, and work related to disaster preparedness in Vanuatu.
"The skills and experience of VSA’s volunteers will be an invaluable contribution to this important work,” Dr Tukuitonga added.
Dr Greer said, “VSA and SPC share ambitions for a prosperous Pacific, in which people are able to create better lives for themselves and their children. Working with SPC will allow us to offer even more opportunities for our Kiwi volunteers to use their remarkable skills and experience to achieve these goals.”
One such VSA volunteer working with SPC is Simon Bloomberg. Simon is volunteering as a Geotechnical Adviser to the Department of Geology, Mines and Water Resources (DGMWR) in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, based in Vanuatu.
This new agreement covers all future collaboration which will see New Zealand volunteers assigned to SPC activities and projects across the Pacific for up to two years.
Listen to the following radio interviews with VSA CEO Dr Gill Greer about the alliance: