|+ CID Member of the Moment: Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA)
VSA sends skilled Kiwis overseas to share their experience and knowledge directly with local people and communities.
We work with our partners overseas to make sure that all our assignments are locally identified, locally relevant, and locally delivered. Our goal is to transfer skills and knowledge so that the changes achieved during an assignment remain after a volunteer returns.
A recent success has been the opening, in January, of a new facility for Leitana Nehan Women’s Development Agency (LNWDA) in Bougainville. LNWDA was founded during the Bougainville Conflict to offer support and services for women affected by violence – Bougainville has one of the highest rates of gender-based violence in the world. VSA has worked with them since 2007 – in 2008, their building burnt down and since then, they had been working out of temporary facilities.
Volunteer Christine Ramsay went on assignment in 2017, when a new building was meant to have been completed. It was still under construction, so Christine, along with Helen Hakena, LNDWA’s CEO, approached VSA for support with funding to complete it. VSA’s Foundation, along with generous public donations, funded the completion of the new building which offers safe house facilities, space for counsellors and legal advisers to work with clients, and conference space, which will provide an income.
In this video, Christine and Helen talk about the project.