The Republic of Kiribati (‘kee-ree-bus’), formerly the Gilbert Islands, is a Micronesian country comprising 32 atolls and one raised phosphate island (Banaba), spread across all 4 of the world's hemispheres. Kiribati has a population of just under 120,000, half of whom live in the densely populated capital of South Tarawa.
The average height of the atolls is just over 2 metres above sea level, making Kiribati highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
The mwaneaba (community house) is traditionally the centre of community life where community discussions, council meetings and celebrations occur and important decisions are made.
In 1967, the first of 34 VSA volunteers were assigned roles in Kiribati. Today VSA works closely with local partners and in alignment with the strategic objectives of the Kiribati Government including programmes providing support to the tourism and fisheries sectors and English language training.
Environment, climate change and health are closely linked in Kiribati where programmes are being developed to support WASH, nutrition, food security and waste management.
The VSA office was set up in South Tarawa at the end of 2018. Resumption of full in-country staffing is expected in the second half of 2023, following the pandemic disruption. Our field office is currently staffed with a Programme Manager and Country Programme Coordinator.