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Vanuatu

Save the Children has been working in Vanuatu for over 40 years to help communities build resilience, strengthen families and support children to thrive.

Why we work in Vanuatu

Across Vanuatu, children are facing significant challenges that hinder their well-being and development. Communities are grappling to address these challenges so children can grow up healthy, safe and learning.

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Lack of quality education

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Inadequate healthcare

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Exposure to Violence

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Disasters & climate change

A lack of essential resources, including clean water and nutritious food, further compounds the situation, affecting their physical health and impeding their growth. Addressing these multifaceted issues is crucial to ensure a brighter future for the children of Vanuatu and foster sustainable development in the region.  
 
As one of the world’s leading children’s organisations, Save the Children works in Vanuatu - and right around the globe - to make sure children are learning, protected from harm, and grow up healthy and strong.  

We’ve been operating in Vanuatu for 40 years and are headquartered in Port Vila. We have field offices on Santo Espiritu and Ambae, with our programs and advocacy reaching every province in the country.


Our dedicated staff work in some of the hardest-to-reach and most remote communities
in Vanuatu to support children and families to become more resilient and overcome vulnerability. 

Together with our partners, we help communities and families to adapt to the climate crisis and respond to disasters, as well as supporting children to learn and grow up healthy, safe and resilient.   

Helping children learn

We know children learn best when teachers have the skills and resources they need, so we’re collaborating with the government of Vanuatu to strengthen the education system. 

This includes our work with the Global Partnership for Education, which makes sure schools are well-resourced and are effective learning environments for children, including those with disabilities. We are proud to work with teachers and the Ministry of Education and Training to help give the children of Vanuatu a quality education and minimise disruptions to learning, even when disasters force schools to close. 

By prioritizing education as a fundamental right, we help to empower children with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive and contribute positively to their communities in Vanuatu. 


Children from Malampa province captured during a Global Partnership for Education field visit with
the Ministry of Education and Training.
Photo: Adrian Gila.

Combating climate change

Where the impacts of the climate crisis are already unavoidable, we’re helping communities adapt and build resilience, as well as elevating the voices of children campaigning for climate action. 

This work includes supporting the Ministry of Climate Change to deliver the Vanuatu Community-based Climate Resilience Project (VCCRP), a landmark, 6-year US$32.6M initiative funded by the Green Climate Fund and the Australian Government.  The VCCRP helps 282 communities across Vanuatu's six provinces with resources and expertise to adapt to climate change impacts, strengthening government systems for sustainable community action and providing adaptation packages to address vulnerability and build resilience.

Watch this video to learn how we’re supporting young people in Vanuatu to have their views on climate change heard.  

Supporting communities to face disasters

In times of humanitarian crisis, we do whatever it takes to reach disaster-impacted populations, including through the Australian Humanitarian Partnership. We deliver life-saving food, shelter kits and learning resources. In the weeks and months after an emergency, we help keep children safe and support families to rebuild their lives. 

We work in partnership with national and provincial governments to strengthen disaster response and preparedness mechanisms at a community level and explore innovative ways to reduce the impact of future disasters, including by establishing social safety nets and launching anticipatory action.  


Children affected by Tropical Cyclone Lola in 2023, play and receive psychosocial support at a Child Friendly Space
in Pentecost.
Photo: James Hinge / Save the Children Vanuatu. 

Health

We’ve worked in partnership with the Vanuatu government to provide access to health services where there were none, as well as empowering caregivers to provide adequate nutrition and nurturing care to children. Our initiatives focus on strengthening healthcare systems, training local providers, and promoting community awareness on preventive healthcare measures, such as vaccination. 

This includes our Bildimap Bren Blong Pikinini project, which is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). By collaborating with government agencies, community leaders, and other stakeholders, we strive to create sustainable solutions that positively impact the health outcomes of the most vulnerable populations in Vanuatu.


Baby Joel (7 mths) having his growth monitored at a clinic in Port Vila.
Photo: Lavinia Mahit / Save the Children Vanuatu.

Keeping children safe from harm

We work closely with government and community partners to prevent and address all forms of abuse, exploitation, neglect, and violence against children. By strengthening child protection systems, advocating for supportive policies, and empowering caregivers, we strive to create safe environments where children can thrive. We ensure that safety is our first priority for any child engaged in our programming.

With support from the Asian Development Bank and in partnership with the Department of Women’s Affairs and Youth Challenge Vanuatu, we’re engaging young people to combat gender-based violence, equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills to understand gender dynamics and cultivate safe relationships. 


Our number one priority is making sure children who attend our programs are safe from harm.
Photo: Damian Mobbs / Save the Children Vanuatu.

Learn more about us

Our work makes headlines – in Vanuatu and overseas. Read about how we’re elevating children’s voices, strengthening communities, and creating positive outcomes for families in the media here, and below:

Our programs are underpinned by evidence of what works and what’s needed. Read more about our impact here. We’re particularly proud of these flagship research pieces:  

Together, we can do even more 

By working together, we can make sure every child in Vanuatu grows up healthy, happy and strong. Join us to foster locally led, sustainable programming and make a meaningful impact on children’s futures. 

Please contact vanuatu@savethechildren.org.au to discuss partnering with us. 

We’re always on the lookout for incredible people to join our team. Explore our careers page to see open positions – and please don’t hesitate to reach out to learn what it’s like to work for Save the Children.

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Polly Banks

Country Director

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Kalkoa Samson

Director Human Resources and Administration

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Relvie Matariki

Director Program Implementation

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Jack French

Director Program Development & Quality

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Louise Nasak

Team Leader Vanuatu Community Based Climate Resilience Project

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Gwen Ayong

Field Manager

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Morrisen Timatua

Acting Director Support Services

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Deepak Singh

Director Finance

Our partners and donors 

Our projects in Vanuatu are supported by the Green Climate Fund, the Australian Government, the Global Partnership for Education, the New Zealand Government, and the Asian Development Bank, as well a corporate partners.

We’re proud to partner with the Government of Vanuatu and more than a dozen local Ni-Vanuatu organisations, developing each other’s capacity, empowering staff and jointly delivering services to strengthen communities.  

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