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Vanuatu Society for Disabled People to deliver more support for disability community

Strengthened wheelchair services and early intervention programs for children are just some of the exciting projects set to benefit Vanuatu’s disability community in 2016.

The Vanuatu Society for Disabled People (VSDP) has announced its major projects for 2016, which aim to improve the quality of life and social inclusion of people with disability across the country.

VSDP Executive Director Elison Bovu said although the year would present new challenges, the organisation was energised and excited to build on its existing programs.


VSDP resumes community-based Early Intervention program post-Cyclone Pam

The Vanuatu Society for Disabled People (VSDP) is happy to announce that its Early Intervention program for children with disabilities is running again for the first time since Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu in March.

VSDP held a community-based class in the village of Erakor on 22 April. Classes will run regularly at Erakor Half Road with classes at other sites to resume soon. Two thirds of the community sites VSDP was running previously running programs in were damaged in the cyclone. The majority or program resources were destroyed when the VSDP collapsed during the peak of the cyclone.

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Vanuatu Society for People with a Disability assesses the needs of 250 clients in Cyclone Pam response program

The Vanuatu Society for People with a Disability (VSDP) has conducted visits to 250 new and existing clients to check their welfare and assess their needs in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam.
We are now in the third week of our cyclone response program to survey how people with disabilities have been affected by the cyclone. More than a quarter of the clients we have visisted have been new clients.
“In the aftermath of the cyclone, VSDP, along with other stakeholders, is looking at the specific needs of people with disabilities,” said VSDP Executive Director Elison Bovu.
“We are glad we can do something to help those with disabilities and make sure they are included in the recovery effort. We must work closely with relief teams to ensure people with disabilities have equal access to food, water, shelter and other relief and aid.”


Donate now to the Vanuatu Society for Disabled People’s Cyclone Pam Recovery Campaign

Help put VSDP back on their feet after Cyclone Pam!

The Vanuatu Society for People with a Disability (VSDP) has a long history of working with children and adults with a disability in their community, providing services to help enable these people to participate as fully as possible in community life in Vanuatu.

On Friday 13 March 2015, Cyclone Pam devastated Vanuatu and destroyed the VSDP centre. The loss of the VSDP building has severely disrupted the services that VSDP can provide – at a time when children and adults with disabilities most need support.

Help VSDP get back on their feet with a donation towards replacing VSDP’s lost rehabilitation and office equipment; meeting immediate needs of VSDP clients; and contributing towards rent of a temporary space while VSDP seek support from large donors to help re-build their original building.

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Want to work for the Vanuatu Society for People with Disabilities? We have the job for you

The Vanuatu Society for People with Disabilities (VSDP) is looking for a field worker to help us run our Early Intervention and Community Based Rehabilitation Programs in and around Port Vila.

Our Community Based Rehabilitation Program involves field workers visiting people with disabilities out in the community. Field workers look at what clients need and help clients with equipment and provide support.

The VSDP also runs an Early Intervention Group for children with disabilities and their families. The groups include activities to promote communication, movement, play and social skills development. These are currently held in community halls around Port Vila.

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One of Vanuatu’s first disability workers, Arthur Simrai, returns to field thanks to Australian Government grant to Vanuatu Society for Disabled People

One of Vanuatu’s first disability fieldworkers has returned to the work he is passionate about thanks to a grant from the Australian Government-funded Stretem Rod Blong Jastis program to the Vanuatu Society for Disabled People (VSDP).

Arthur Simrai is an exceptional role model for people with disabilities as a fieldworker, actor, sportsman and election contestant.

Born in the village of Walarano in Malekula, Arthur caught polio as a small child that completely restricted his leg movement. Arthur’s parents initially refused to send him to the local school which was around 1 km away. Fortunately, a priest encouraged them to carry Arthur to school every day for two year until a wheelchair was donated from overseas.

“If I hadn’t gone to school, I think I’d still be stuck inside the house. Education is the key to independence for people with disabilities (PWD). It means they can provide for their families, not depend on them,” he said.


New Caledonian music group Verdine play for children with disabilities, showing music is great therapy

Children with disabilities were overjoyed by a music concert from New Caledonian group Verdine at the Vanuatu Society for Disabled People (VSDP) this week.

Verdine are currently touring Vanuatu with the Alliance Française, Port Vila, and were happy to give the disabled children at VSDP’s Early Intervention program an unforgettable experience. The group play gypsy music involving dancing, colourful costumes, guitar, violin and trumpet.

Music makes children happy, alert and active. Music as a positive therapy was demonstrated this week at VSDP as children danced happily, some who cannot stand up clapped along, and others looked amazed by the new experience.

Verdine music group playing with a young deaf girl at our Early Intervention group

Sanga with children with disabilities at the VSDP Early Intervention program

First psychomotricienne to practice in Vanuatu is volunteering at the Vanuatu Society for Disabled People

The first psychomotricienne to practice in Vanuatu is volunteering her services at the Vanuatu Society for Disabled People (VSDP).

A psychomotricien is a health professional who treats both the body and the mind without separating the two. There’s no English equivalent but it can also be described as a combination between a physiotherapist and a psychologist.

Sanga Stuber Vandame was born in Vanuatu but left when she was two years old so has no memories of the country.

“I wanted to return to Vanuatu to rediscover the ground where I learnt to walk. As a psychomotricienne, I’m very interested in that period of your life when you learn to move because it’s very important for the construction of your identity,” she said.