Friday, January 30, 2009

A Review of our Development Efforts in 2008

Kia Orana koutou katoatoa to all of you from the beautiful Cook Islands.

In 2008, we celebrated over 100 teams visiting the Cook Islands! With 102 teams supporting the Cook Islands over the last ten years, we can truly say we had something to celebrate. Over 100 people joined together at Takitumu School to celebrate this wonderful milestone.
The night was a brilliant success with community partners such as Takitumu School pupils and PTA, Te Kainga, Cook Islands National Council of Women, the Pacific Islands AIDS Foundation, Immanuela Aketemia School, Tereora College Learning Support Unit, Red Cross, the Ministry of Health, the Disability Action Team, the Virtues Project, the Cook Islands Library and Museum Society, the Takitumu Conservation Area, the Whale Research Centre, St Josephs School, and Te Uki Ou School all sharing interesting stories of how Global Volunteers has supported their organizations in differing ways over such a long time.

The Global Volunteers goals of waging peace and promoting justice in the world were certainly met with the fun way Cook Islanders, Americans and Canadians all enjoyed each others company and celebrated the friendships made during the time that Global Volunteers has had the honor of supporting so many different partners in the Cook Islands.

Of course, while all this celebrating was going on our work projects did not stop. We have had some different special projects while also continuing our great work teaching reading at a variety of schools. Our reading program has helped 370 children with their reading, and provided 6670 hours of support to the United Nations Millennium Development goal of having all boys and girls finish a full course of primary schooling during the last six months.

One interesting project was helping to restore a historical sea traveling vaka (canoe). The canoe was traveling to Samoa for the 10th Pacifika Arts Festival and time was running out. Global Volunteers was asked to lend a helping hand to the workers doing the restoration work. Several members in our July team managed to spend some time learning about rope work, carving, sanding etc, with Rick Russell even traveling on board when the vaka was towed from Avana to Avarua!

As you can see the Cook Islands offers a range of adventure in service projects depending on your skills. Why don’t you come and join us and experience our amazing little country. We look forward to your company in 2009!
-Kia manuia, Debi - Global Volunteers Country Manager

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Come Join Us - We Need Your Help in 2009!

Kia Orana to all Global Volunteers:

We know the world is experiencing budget shortages. We hope you will continue to send volunteers to the Cook Islands in 2009. It would be very sad for the beneficiaries of the work that the Global Volunteers do in Rarotonga if they do not maintain the very worthwhile service.

The students who receive assistance from the volunteers with their reading will miss out on a very important aspect of their learning as well as self confidence that is nurtured through the support given by the Global Volunteers. These volunteers have also helped a great deal with the conservation of native birds which is one of our success stories. The locals who take this on as a passion and sheer determination to preserve these precious birds through rat eradication which often is quite a difficult taks. Red Cross has a staff shortage and the volunteers have rescued us from many of our much needed jobs to be done and sometimes at short notice... and this we have appreciated.

Just recently, we were able to get the help of a Global Volunteer to complete a job that would have waited for how long, I hate to think!! Other volunteers have become part of the community as they do fill a gap of our needs and the visits with the elderly, disabled, schools, library, women;s office, hospital and so on are most important. Recently, the wheelchairs that were fixed are mind-boggling as we have had to tell clients that we do not have wheelshairs to give to assist with their mobility. I invite Global Volunteers to keep coming and don't abandon those who need your services! I look forward to more positive outcomes with more Global Volunteers teams coming to Rarotonga in 2009!
-Kia Manuia, Niki