Volunteer Spirit in Motion

This series of articles highlights volunteers in the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tokelau. In many of these cases the people involved would not describe themselves as 'volunteers'.  They would see themselves as people who have taken action because they believe in the worth of what they are setting out to do. They do this work of their own free will, without coercion and without the expectation of payment - because they believe that it needs to be done.

This perhaps illustrates that the term 'volunteerism' is misunderstood. Volunteering should not be confused with obligation, as something that is expected by society and enforced by social norms. True volunteerism is an individual action that comes from the will of the person involved, without pressure from outside influences. Truly voluntary actions cannot be forced. They are a result of individual belief and personal commitment.

This series, therefore, highlights people who took action on something that they truly believed in and that came from their own passion and heart, wanting to bring about positive changes to society without expecting any remuneration. There are many such cases in South Pacific Islands countries.

  • International Volunteers Day 2014 celebrated in SamoaDec 5, 2014National and international volunteer organisations based in Samoa have come together to celebrate International Volunteer Day 2014, and to help hundreds of the country’s citizens join in as well – reflecting the theme for the event this year, ‘People’s Participation’. 300 participants from across Samoa, all committed to being lasting partners in the nation’s development, took part in the day-long event that kicked off with a trek and police band at central Apia.

  • Art therapy for abused young women: Wendy Percival’s volunteer storyArt therapy for abused young women: Wendy Percival’s volunteer storyJun 25, 2014Wendy Percival, an artist and educator, has taken initiative to help her community by volunteering her time to teach fine arts to young women from the House of Hope, a well-known shelter for victims of abuse in Samoa.