FAQs Returned Volunteers



International Women’s Day 2016

Published on 8th March 2016

This International Women’s Day, the theme is “Pledge for Parity”, aiming for true gender equality, everywhere, by 2030. We celebrate that work today, but it’s a pledge our volunteers make every day in the work they do around the wider Pacific to support women and girls.


A young girl under a new water supply in Tanna, Vanuatu (photo by Peter Brown)

A young girl under a new water supply in Tanna, Vanuatu (photo by Peter Brown)

Our volunteers support local projects that provide safety, education, legal help and access to an income. Between July 2014 and June 2015, in addition to these programmes, VSA volunteers mentored or trained 5,637 women. VSA also works on issues that disproportionately impact women, such as access to clean water. In the same time period, 4,132 people got new or improved access to drinking water and sanitation facilities.


You can read our CEO Gill Greer’s thoughts about the role women play in creating resilient communities here, or check out the stories below about the different areas in which we work to achieve equality for women.


Access to a good water supply and good sanitation means women are saved the labour of collecting water, and children are saved from illness due to waterborne diseases. Safe toilets mean girls can go to school knowing they'll have privacy when they need it. 





VSA volunteers work all over the Pacific on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) projects:



Our volunteers also work to ensure good health and nutrition, including counselling, family planning and reproductive health:





When women can earn a good income, they invest that money back into their communities and families. They can lift themselves out of poverty and provide a better future for their children.


Our volunteers work with grassroots organisations that encourage entrepreneurship, as well as international NGOs that work to provide the legal support needed for women to be represented at all levels:


VSA/UN Women volunteer Fiona Morris with colleagues at UN Women office in Suva

VSA/UNWomen volunteer Fiona Morris (centre) with Kristy Nowland and Preeya Leli at UN Women in Suva, Fiji




The Pacific- New Zealand included - has some of the worst rates of violence against women in the world. We work across the Pacific with survivors, offenders, communities and governments to address this:




Liz Hicks with a member of the Sisters of Nazareth at the Nazareth Rehabilitatio

Liz Hicks with a member of the Sisters of Nazareth at the Nazareth Rehabilitation Programme, Chabai, Bougainville.





VSA volunteers work right across education - from preschool to vocational colleges - to ensure quality schooling across the wider Pacific:




Laura Barnett at Kabaleo Teachers’ College

Laura Barnett (centre) was a student peer advocacy adviser at Kabaleo Teachers’ College, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea


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