Vanuatu is a Melanesian archipelago of approximately 292,000 people living on 65 inhabited islands in the South Pacific Ocean. Formerly known as the New Hebrides, Vanuatu was jointly governed by British and French administrations before attaining independence on 30 July 1980.

Motivation Australia’s engagement with Vanuatu began in 2012 with a feasibility study conducted by Motivation Australia and the Australian Outreach Committee of ISPO. The Feasibility study highlighted the need for comprehensive mobility device services to be established.

In 2015 Motivation Australia began working with partners at the Vanuatu Society for Disabled People (VSDP) in Port Villa on a walking aids project (funded by the Australian Government through the Direct Aid Programme) and supporting their efforts post Cyclone Pam.

Motivation Australia is now working with a broad range of partners – including Vanuatu’s Ministry of Health and Ministry of Justice and Community Services and VSDP to develop basic level wheelchair services in Port Vila and Luganville.

Disability related statistics and information
• Based on WHO statistics an estimated 2,433 Ni-Vanuatu need a wheelchair and 1,216 need a prosthetic or orthotic device.
• Vanuatu was the first Pacific Island country to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the 23rd of April 2008.
• The Vanuatu Ministry of Justice and Community Services have developed The National Disability Inclusive Development Policy 2018 – 2025. The policy builds on past efforts to provide a guideline for action for national and provincial government and non-government stakeholders across Vanuatu, as well as their development partners.
• Vanuatu had also put in place the National Community Based Rehabilitation Action Plan 2014-2024.

Terrific teamwork for Training of Trainers course in Fiji

Daniel and Lauren were in Suva, Fiji for part one of the Training of Trainers (ToT) course from the 25th to 29th of November. The ToT course assembles participants from Fiji (4 participants), the Solomon Islands (2) and Vanuatu (3)…
Two trainees in PNG learn their training material!

Training the trainers: Pacific leaders project

Building a skilled and knowledgable workforce is essential to increasing access to appropriate, local wheelchair services in the Pacific Region. Over the past 10 years, much of that training has been completed by international organisations, such as Motivation Australia, through a…
Conference delegates listening to a presenter off screen. In the fore ground are two women in colourful dresses.

Rehabilitation and Mobility Conference

Celebrating the Conference Theme: ‘Pacific Leaders creating Sustainable Services’, delegates from nine countries in the Pacific region, inclusive of those who use, provide and manage services worked together to share ideas, discuss and learn about how to build inclusive rehabilitation…
Two men lean over a table, reading an assembly manual. Both of them are pointing to the page. Next to them on the table are parts of a wheelchair and some tools.

Fiji: Wheelchair service training

Motivation Australia and the Cerebral Palsy Alliance recently collaborated to deliver an intermediate level, wheelchair training course for 20 Fijian, Ni-Vanuatu and I-Kiribati personnel in Suva, Fiji. Intermediate level wheelchair services provide wheelchairs with extra support for children and adults…
A male participant of the training adjusts a wheelchair, while a female participant checks off a list of changes that need to be made.

Mentoring local personnel to provide appropriate wheelchairs

Intermediate level wheelchair service training builds the capacity of personnel to provide wheelchairs and supportive seating for children and adults who need additional postural support. A recent children’s wheelchair clinic in Vanuatu aimed to extend the skills, knowledge and confidence…

Sanma Province: Planning for expansion in Vanuatu

Motivation Australia (MA) has been working closely with the Vanuatu Society for People with Disabilities (VSPD), the Vanuatu Ministry of Health (MoH), and the Ministry of Justice and Community Services (MOJCS) to strengthen mobility device services (MDS) in Vanuatu through…