(Picture caption: Margaret Wallis farewells staff at Bareaumai School after volunteering in Kiribati.)
As part of Kiribati Language Week - Wikin te Taetae ni Kiribati 2022, we look at volunteering in Kiribati, with Volunteer Service Abroad - Te Tūao Tāwāhi.
Widely known as VSA, Volunteer Services Abroad is New Zealand’s largest and most experienced volunteer agency, connecting people across the moana between New Zealand and other countries in the Pacific Region.
Volunteers have worked alongside Kiribati partners since 1967 to support education, health, and economic development.
The staff at VSA recognise the importance of Kiribati’s Independence Day on July 12, 2022, a year when VSA itself turns 60 years.
Last year, Margaret Wallis volunteered in Kiribati and continued through e-volunteering upon her return to Aotearoa New Zealand, (volunteering remotely) with the Kiribati Ministry of Education.
The team works collaboratively to advance outcomes for primary students in South Tarawa through the introduction of new teaching strategies and the development of teaching resources.
While in Kiribati, Margaret spent time at Bareaumai School and Abaunamou School, connecting with teaching staff to better understand the learning environment.
Resources are limited in the classroom and teachers are required to provide their own teaching materials.
Visits to the schools have been invaluable as Margaret was then able to recommend the next steps in learning practices.
Volunteer Services Abroad offers a range of volunteer programmes across the wider Pacific.
Volunteers live abroad or connect remotely from their homes in Aotearoa to share experience, knowledge and cultures.
Working with business, government and organisations located abroad, we collectively transform lives of many, provide greater cultural understanding, and create a fair future for all.
Currently, VSA is partnering with ChildFund Kiribati to support communications and advocacy as part of ChildFund’s goal to help I-Kiribati children and youth to thrive, free from violence and exploitation.
ChildFund Kiribati has been working in South Tarawa since 2016.
This volunteer will connect remotely from Aotearoa New Zealand to mentor local staff to leverage social media for maximum impact.
Visit the VSA website for more information.