Information about the Vava’u Islands charity, aid and education programs.
About USP (University of the South Pacific)
Located in Neiafu, Vava’u is the University of the South Pacific Vava’u Centre. The distance and flexible learning system allows students to complete High School, obtain certificates, diplomas or degrees from the University. In 2010 there are approximately 70 students enrolled in the various courses offered. In addition to the courses available USP also has an active Community Outreach Programme that offers courses and activities to the wider community.
About the Library
The Vava’u Public Library is the longest running non-government, non-church organization in Vava’u. Established in 1983, the library provides local residents and visitors with a selection of over 4,000 adult, children’s and reference books. The library employs one full-time librarian, with extra support coming from the Library Committee – a group of 15 local residents who guide the library’s yearly activities.
At the beginning of each year the library interviews and selects top students from local high schools and the University of the South Pacific Centre to provide a scholarship for one or more semester’s school fees. On Saturday mornings we hold a children’s reading program, where local (and visiting!) children get a chance to improve their English reading skills. In addition, the library hosts an annual carnival, called “Library Fun Day”, which features games and prizes, food, and a second-hand sale. The library has been wholly supported by our annual fundraising activities and private donations.
Vava’u Environmental Protection Association
VEPA was formed in 2009 by concerned residents from both the private and government sectors, we received our incorporation in January 2010. We are dedicated to the conservation of Vava’u’s natural beauty through educational awareness, sustainable development and collaboration. Membership opportunities will be available soon. More information on upcoming projects can be found on our website
Mangrove Restoration Project
Our first project was run in conjunction with Tonga Trust to help reforest shoreline areas with mangroves. The village of Koloa accepted our proposal for the pilot project, and aided us with the implementation and work.
The project focused on a small area that a fence was built around to prevent the pigs from destroying the seedlings. The fence allows natural tidal movement for the mangroves to grow in.
Miss Losimani Patolo learnt how to grow a mangrove seedling in a recyclable pot. For their help School member Miss Losimani Patolo won the prize for best kept mangrove and replanted her mangrove in the protected area.
Overall 37 mangroves have now been planted and seeded in the area and the children continue to grow more to finish it.
Monitoring of the area remains and the fence will be removed once the seedlings grow.
We would like to thank Tonga Trust, Ministry of Education and especially the residents of Koloa for their help and efforts in this project and efforts in this project.
Friends of Prince Ngu Wellington Hospital Committee
Formed just over 7 years ago the hospital committee funds raise to aid the hospital for purchasing new or used equipment and evacuation flights. The board consists of dedicated residents of Tonga, and is assisted by over seas donors.
To date the hospital committee has evacuated over 200 people to Nuku’alofa for treatment, as well as brought in a new morgue, blood dialysis machine and helps with further supplies.
Our project at the moment is to raise money for a new ECG/EKG machine and provide training and consumables for its use.
AID and volunteering
Volunteering is a great way of gaining a rare and privileged insight into another world, one beyond the irresistible lure of unspoilt beaches, palm trees and balmy evenings. It’s not, though, an option for the casual tourist: volunteer programmes require a serious and long-term commitment. Most organisations require volunteers to have tertiary qualifications or work experience in their particular field, and to hold residency in the organisation’s base country. WWOOFERS (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms ) also have several Independent Hosts in Tonga.
Some of the ways people (Church groups/school groups/tour organisors/tourists) have supported Tonga in the past are:
- Medical – dental/orthopeadic/plastic surgery/optometrist/veterinary
- Sporting – donations of rugby shoes and uniforms
- Hygiene – donations of toothpaste/toothbrushes
- Education – books/pens/calculators
- Or whatever your skill is…
Tonga and especially Vava’u are a popular choice for UK, Australian and NZ medical students doing there overseas elective. Have a chat to Scott in the Pharmacy as well, in town, as he welcomes Medical Students and see’s some interesting cases – air conditioned as well!