Wednesday, August 20, 2008

100th Team Celebration in the Cook Islands!

Kia Orana!

With over 100 teams of volunteers supporting the Cook Islands over the last ten years, we can truly say we've had something to celebrate.

Over 100 people joined together at Takitumu School last Friday evening to celebrate this wonderful milestone. The night was a brilliant success with community partners such as Takitumu School teacher, pupils and PTA, Te Kainga Mental Health, Cook Islands National Council of Women, the Pacific Islands AIDS Foundation, Immanuela Aketemia School, Tereora College Learning Support Unit, the Red Cross, the Ministry of Health, the Disability Action Team, the Virtues Project, the Cook Islands Library and Museum Society, the Takitumu Conservation Area, St Josephs School, the Whale Research Centre, and Te Uki Ou School all sharing interesting stories of how Global Volunteers has supported their organisations in differing ways over such a long time.

We heard stories from painting the whole of the Tupapa Medical clinic, through to teaching reading in schools, to helping eradicate the Crown of Thorns starfish. Stories were told of doctors, dentists, psychiatrists, teachers, physiotherapists, mental health workers, speech language therapists, painters, plumbers, electricians, builders, journalists, magicians, students, children, elderly, librarians - you name it - people with those skills have probably been to help with one project or another!Photos were displayed on powerpoint reminding those present of the different teams who have contributed their time, energy, wisdom and service to the Cook Islands. The Global Volunteers goals of waging peace and promoting justice in the world were certainly met with the fun way Cook Islanders, Americans and Canadians all enjoyed each others company and celebrated the friendships made during the time that Global Volunteers has had the honour of supporting so many different partners in the Cook Islands.

The current team of 18 was thoroughly entertained with dancing from the Takitumu School cultural group, with parents supplying a string band and singing during the enormous kaikai. Global Volunteers wishes to thank all of the community partners who made the evening such a wonderful night, without you it would not have been possible. We look forward to continuing our work together in the future. Special thanks must go to Takitumu School and PTA for hosting the event and the Ministry of Health for their generous support for the kaikai!

Meitaki maata e kia manuia!

-Debi Futter-Puati, Global Volunteers Country Manager