Since 2014/15, Two Llamas Environmental & Social Projects (www.twollamas.org.au) has been assisting remote Ni-Vanuatu communities in the north of Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu. Our work has focused on three key areas:
Improving the quality of primary health care services and facilities;
Improving the quality of early childhood education facilities;
Capacity building in the areas of: women’s health & safety, infant health, personal hygiene, and nutrition for health.
It is estimated that approximately 7,000 people in the north of Espiritu Santo benefited from upgrades to the Health Centre in Port Olry and educational facilities in Port Olry and Matantas. Funding was largely provided by sister-entity SUP Wilderness Adventures (www.supwildernessadventures.com), which donated profits from its soft adventure tourism Vanuatu to pay for project work. As a result of the company’s responsible tourism practices, an estimated Au$480,000 was injected into the island’s tourism economy. This largely benefited Indigenous Ni-Vanuatu owner-operators, while facilitating job creation. Two Llamas facilitated the donation of medical, educational and aid relief supplies that were shared across the island. If purchased new, these would have had a commercial value exceeding Au$500,000.
The Port Olry Health Centre provides health services to the village’s 2000 residents, plus outreach clinics to approximately 1000 people in surrounding villages.
In August 2016, Two Llamas shipped a 20’ container from Australia to Port Olry. Within it were patient beds, mattresses, a birthing bed, side tables, infant cribs, linen, sterilisers, instruments, chairs, sofas, shelving, desks, lighting, ceiling fans, plumbing, window coverings, first aid supplies, etc… Over the course of three and a half days, the community worked shoulder-to-shoulder with Two Llamas volunteers to clean, repaint, repair, re-plumb, rewire, redecorate, renovate, refurnish and re-stock the health centre. Towards the end of the second day, the first child – Marie Chantal – was born in the new maternity ward. On completion of work, the Minister for Health visited the Centre and declared it the best and most well-equipped Health Centre in all of Vanuatu.
Two Llamas ships an ongoing supply of basic supplies to the island throughout the year. These donations include: wound dressings, bandages, tape, band-aids, scissors, scalpels, tweezers, blood pressure monitors, surgical gloves, glucose test kits, crutches, all-terrain wheel chairs, washable sanitary kits, saline, antiseptic, Paracetamol, office supplies and (in November 2018), a laptop was donated for use by local nurses.
Apart from the Port Olry Health Centre, other facilities that have received medical supplies from Two Llamas include: the Northern Provincial Hospital, Medical Santo, ProMedical Santo, Bene Health Clinic, Vanuatu Agricultural College, and the two clinics on Maekula.
Port Olry’s kindy has three classrooms and approximately 100 students. Until 2016, the classes were bare concrete and had no teacher resources or educational materials.
Two Llamas volunteers spent 2 days working shoulder-to-shoulder with community leaders to completely gut the three classrooms. They then painted and repaired the classes, furnished them, and provided extensive educational resources and toys.
In 2018, Two Llamas implemented Stage Two of the kindy improvement project; the construction of a playground using primarily recycled materials. This was done with the help of volunteers, a church group and community leaders.
In addition, books were provided to the school to enable a library to be formed for the benefit of primary and high school students.
Although there remains significant scope for further work to be undertaken in Port Olry, Two Llamas believes that the community should now be able to progress in an independent manner. Consequently, we are scaling back our work there, to ensure we do not encourage an unhealthy reliance on external assistance. Two Llamas will continue to provide shipments of medical supplies to the islands clinics, health centre and the Northern Provincial Hospital. We remain committed to supporting people living with disabilities and offer two scholarships per year to encourage those who are paraplegic or quadriplegic, to attend courses at Vanuatu Agricultural College. We will continue to provide assistance to the village of Matantas, where the primary school of De Querios requires water and sanitation facilities for students.
We would like to thank all volunteers, donors and organisations who have assisted us in our work. Without you, the many small miracles we have performed would not have been possible.