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Source: Volunteer Service Abroad

Last week recently appointed Te Tumu Whakarae (CEO) of Volunteer Service Abroad Kate Wareham, and Marketing Communication Manager, Sarah Maxwell, travelled to Samoa to honour 60 since the charity was established and 59 years since the first volunteer arrived in Samoa . During this time, they meet with some of their partners working towards sustainable environmental practices and attend an event hosted by the Rt Hon Dame Cindy Kiro Governor-General of New Zealand and Patron of VSA to acknowledge the work VSA has done in Samoa.
On Tuesday VSA met with Adi Maimalagi Tafunai, Fuimaono Rosalia Me, Sylvia Sagar from Women in Business Development Inc (WIBDI). WIBDI supports over 800 farmers across Samoa, including approximately 400 farmers who produce organic coconut oil. Their field work educates farmers in adapting sustainable organic methods to deliver quality oil which is both environmentally friendly and provides regular steady income. WIBDI sells the oil to international brands including The Body Shop and Ethique.
The following day, they meet with Marina Keil President of the Samoa Recycling Waste Management Association (SRWMA) and learned about their strategy to remove e-waste, plastics, and oil waste to reduce the harmful effects rubbish has on soil and water quality. Keil described how four years ago recycling wasn’t considered widely and her goal for international businesses who profit from sales to Samoa to take corporate responsibility for the e-waste to ease the impact on landfill.
Over the past 60 years VSA has been on a mission to achieve a world with thriving communities, and it is this very vision that has eventuated to 60 years of empowering communities, forming strong alliances, and securing better outcomes for future generations. 
VSA’s mark on international development in Samoa, across the Pacific, and beyond was acknowledged at an event on Wednesday 7 September 2022 hosted by The Rt Hon. Dame Cindy Kiro Govenrnor-General of New Zealand at New Zealand High Commissioners Residence in Apia.
VSA’s partners spoke about the impact volunteers who connecting remotely from New Zealand as e-volunteers. Alice Nuimata-Leota’s accounting staff are now certified Xero practitioners enabling them to successfully bid on a wider range of accounting work. VSA volunteers have also been working in biosecurity with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Samoa and developing a communication strategy with Samoan Women’s Association of Growers (SWAG) who support families generate income through the sale of organic produce and locally produced goods. 
In attendance was VSA partners, staff, MFAT and invited guests. Both the Governor General of New Zealand and Kate spoke about the rich history VSA holds with Samoa and the optimism this partnership sets for the future of education, health and wellbeing and the economy. VSA anticipates a volunteer to arrive in Samoa next month.