Volunteer Service Abroad Te Tūao Tāwāhi (VSA) is celebrating 60 years of connecting people and transforming lives. Norah Riddick, VSA volunteer, is pictured supporting the USP Nurse Training Course, observed by nurse trainee, Exceive Rouru. VSA/23092008
The Volunteer Service Abroad Te Tūao Tāwāhi (VSA) is celebrating 60 years today since the first volunteers were sent out from Aotearoa New Zealand through its programme.
Today’s event will be hosted at the New Zealand High
Commissioner’s Residence at Ngatipa, and will highlight VSA’s focus on
education, health, and sustainable development in the Pacific region.
As a leading organisation in international volunteer
work in the region, VSA has been working in the Cook Islands since 1977 with
seven volunteers, noted Tina Mackie, VSA programming manager for Cook Islands
The first assignments were education focused. The
focus still remains on education, as well as the environment, health and
Since the inception of the programme, a total of 90
volunteers have shared their skills and knowledge in the Cook Islands.
The organization is proud to recognise over 4000
volunteers who have given their time, and the hundreds of organisations and
individuals with strong ties in partnership with VSA.
Over the past 60 years, Volunteer Service Abroad have
been making their mark in the development space, operating with remote,
in-country, and local volunteer programmes across the Pacific and beyond.
“Our goal is to transfer the right resources, skills,
and knowledge so that the impact achieved during an assignment remains long
after a volunteer returns to Aotearoa New Zealand, creating a fair future for
all,” stated VSA in a media release.
“We are proud of the contributions that we have made
to the development of the Cook Islands, and we look forward to celebrating this
milestone with our partners and supporters.”
VSA hopes to make a significant difference by working
with people, partners, and communities to establish long-lasting relationships.
It is New Zealand’s largest and most experienced
volunteering agency working in international development, and is funded by New
Zealand MFAT (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade).