Volunteering in Samoa
At the heart of Polynesia, Samoa is a beautiful and traditional natural paradise.
Fa’a Samoa, or the 'Samoan way', is the enduring guiding principle of Samoan cultural tradition. Despite centuries of European colonial influence, Samoa maintains a strong connection to its cultural heritage. Samoa gained independence in 1962 – the first Polynesian country to achieve this political status.
Situated about halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii, Samoa is made up of two main volcanic islands - Upolu and Savai’i - and eight smaller islets, with a total population of 200,000. Samoa’s economy is driven by service, agriculture, and tourism. One in five Samoans find it difficult to meet their basic needs, with the rural poor and people with disabilities particularly vulnerable. Low rates of high-school completion and the burden of non-communicable diseases are significant challenges to development.
Australia’s aid to Samoa helps to promote economic growth, address health and education challenges, and strengthen governance. The Australian Volunteers Program is guided by the Australian Government’s Aid Investment Plan for Samoa, and enables Australian volunteers to play an important role in the development process.
Volunteer assignments in Samoa focus on a range of development issues, including:
- economic growth
- health and education
- private sector development
- gender equality
- climate change
- disaster management
Through photo blogging, more than 30 volunteers have helped us bust the biggest myths about international volunteering.
Take a look!