TIV supports kindness in current COVID Crisis

Transparency Vanuatu thank all our Health Workers and frontline workers who dedicate their lives to keeping the people of Vanuatu safe from effects of the spreading COVID-19 virus.

This virus does not respect boundaries or social status. Yes, we have heard of allegations of preferential treatments given to some of our Leaders, allegations of some Leaders preaching quarantine protocols and allegations of breeches of basic human rights and so on.

While the Head of Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV), Dr. Willie Tokon, is a renowned medical doctor by trade, he says his spiritual faith has always played a leading role in all his decision making in his professional life. For this reason, he believes the global pandemic has been a catalyst for Christians to recognise the basic needs of their next door neighbours and show kindness to conform to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ in line with Christ’s teaching. Assistance in all forms from well-to-do Leaders, Chiefs, Community Leaders, Church Leaders and support from family leaders must be acknowledged. TIV congratulates all parents for bringing back Family Worship in the home.

TIV wishes to share its observations after its members of staff have discussed individual exchanges of how their neighbours are now sharing with each other in the current lockdown.

“One of the young men jumped off the bus in my community with 15-kilo bag of rice comprising one-kilo pre-packed plastic bags of rice on his back. While on his way to his door, he opened the bag and started handing out a kilo of rice each to families saying, ‘Cook this for supper”, TIV Advocate Douglas Tamara says.

“As men gather for their daily dose of kava at the kava bar in our community, everyone gets ready to go bottoms-up but this evening, the bar owner says, ‘Before we start drinking (our kava), may I ask one of you to bless the evening with a prayer to thank the Lord for being good to us’. We all paused. Someone prayed. This is the first time that anyone has cared to say a prayer before any kava drinking spree here!”

Tamara says the virus crisis has impacted his community with so much love and care that it seems everyone has realised the importance of putting God in front of everything.

Another member of staff says a senior public servant who used to be ‘in his own world’ has suddenly recognised the grassroot members of his community and now visits with greens and food supplies from the market.

Our TIV Media Officer says last week his family was surprised when a Bongo vehicle stopped at their gate and started unloading fresh agricultural produce at their gate. The food supply was so much that they went on to distribute it to 50 households. The recipients were assured that it was “all blessings from God”.

Speaking by mobile, the donor asked to remain anonymous saying she felt the urgency to buy all the food from Eton farmers then hired a truck to ask that the food be distributed to people in critical need for food at this time.

Then the latest incident impressed then shocked two mothers when they followed their church doctrine to “go to your family”. They took with them seven parcels of ‘namba 8 kato’ – 5 in each. They started distributing for free to the first family.  It immediately triggered fiery verbal exchanges between ‘mum and dad and son’ since the boy took more than one.

The father threatened the son with a piece of iron rod and the poor boy returned one of the two ‘kato’ he snatched. The mothers ended up leaving 15 ‘kato’ to ease the situation.

On hearing the sad report, TIV  suspects similar experiences in the grassroot communities where most likely the lockdown is already causing hardship as far as putting sufficient food on the table for every member of the family.

Fortunately for ni-Vanuatu, food sharing is an art and has sustained families and tribes for generations. Please keep the practice alive especially now in the current COVID-19 lockdown.

Let us continue to work together, share and support each other. Cut out the preferential treatments, bribery and corruption. And may God continue to keep Vanuatu in His bubble of Love, Care and Protection Always.

Boys ready to deliver parcels to each household
Food delivered for distribution to grass-root communities

Transparency Vanuatu Providing Awareness to Youths in Port-Vila:

57 soccer teams benefit from TIV message about respect.

The Chief Executive Officer of Vanuatu Indigenous Roots Cleanup Association, Mr. Sam Kwelo, has thanked Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV) Community Advocate, Douglas Tamara, for addressing his soccer players in double Soccer and Volleyball Knock-Out Tournament at Seaside Millennium Park Sports Field on Wednesday this week.

About 1,000 players and spectators from all over Vila came together for this sports event and had the chance to listen as Transparency Vanuatu Community Advocate spoke. Both, young men and young women who took part in the games were present during the speech.

In addition to RESPECT, Mr. Tamara also spoke on the topics of Rights and Duties of the citizens of Vanuatu as enshrined in the National Constitution.

While the long-time Community Advocate has raised many issues at tournaments, the CEO told his players, “Please, no abusive language on the field from any player as you risk your own image and your team being disqualified from this tournament”.

“We have all just heard an important message concerning respect from TIV (Advocate Douglas Tamara). We have heard how our human rights as written in our National Constitution is limited by our duties and responsibilities to our societies.

Respect must remain paramount during our games now and all games in the future”.

TIV Chief Executive Officer Dr. Willie Tokon has also welcomed the growing awareness programmes concerning the importance of respect, rights and duties. The importance of recognizing what corruption and bribery are; and what they mean for all ordinary people. The importance of recognizing and avoidance of such criminal activities and electing the right political candidates at all political elections.

He says Transparency Vanuatu has already completed TIV’s work plan for 2022. Community Awareness and meetings with communities throughout the whole country will be complete by the end of this year.

In addition, later on, he is confident of presenting election statistics to help voters to recognize where their votes matter most, to help them make the right decisions.

A smiling Tournament CEO Kwelo (left) awaits his interview while Secretary is interviewed
Players and spectators at Paama Seaside


TIV Completes 7 Adaptive Leadership Training’s For Efate & Offshore Island Chiefs

FOR THE LAST few months Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV) and the Pacific Leadership Program (PLP) had been working in partnership with the Executive of the Vaturisu Council of Chiefs to train chiefs around the island of Efate and its offshore islands on the Adaptive Leadership theory…

Photos: Right To Information Law Community Awareness –  Malekula Island  

Awareness session at Lakatoro Market House.

A Team from Transparency International Vanuatu was recently on the island of Malekula conducting community awareness’s on the Right To Information Law from the 2nd to the 9th of April 2017.

The trip to the island of Malekula was made possible through funding support from the Pacific Leadership Program (PLP).

These are a few of the photos from that activity. 

Photos taken on a phone camera.

Traveling by boat to inform people from the offshore islands of Malekula.

Mother and her baby at Lakatoro.

Citizens being informed.

Distributing RTI Posters.

Raising the Right To Information message at Lakatoro.

Putting up posters at Potovro, Malekula.

Informing whoever we come across.

Right To Information Law is ‘The Peoples Law’.

The people have the right to know.

Distributing posters and brochures along the roads.

Vendor at Lakatoro Market House getting informed.

Matanvat, North West Malekula

Rensarie College.

Informing students and teachers at Rensarie College.

RTI Awareness To Be Conducted Around Pentecost Island

OFFICERS FROM TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL VANUATU will be conducting several community awareness and consultation sessions on the Right To Information (RTI) Bill with several communities around the south of island of Pentecost from the 19th to the 24th of August.

This Pentecost RTI Awareness is the seventh of its kind to be conducted in Vanuatu in partnership with the Governments Right To Information Unit. The islands that have already been visited are the islands of Tanna, Malekula, Santo, Malo, Ambae, and Vanua Lava.

The team from Transparency International Vanuatu will be visiting communities beginning from the south of Pentecost then gradually moving up to the communities in the central part of the island before concluding the program in the north.

The Right To Information Policy was launched by the government in early 2014, thereby forming the basis for the Right To Information Bill to be developed. The RTI Bill was listed to be debated in Parliament in late 2014 but was withdrawn for further revisions, it was listed to be discussed during the First Ordinary Session of Parliament of 2016 but was again withdrawn.

While the officers are there community leaders who wish to have the RTI awareness conducted in their community can conduct Transparency International Vanuatu (Tel: 25715) to identify their locations so that the team can visit them to share information on the contents of the Right To Information Bill.



Serving For 35 years With No Salary, This Citizen Deserves Recognition.

IT IS STORIES like this that make you realize the true meaning of independence, and why we should have already delivered vital resources to the most remotest parts of Vanuatu;

“This is the first time for me to see the Constitution of Vanuatu” expressed an elder from Tseriviu community who has continued to run his Aid Post at Tseriviu in the Big Bay area of Santo since the early 80’s.

He not only saw the Vanuatu Constitution, but Transparency IMr. Thomas Palonternational Vanuatu (TIV) made sure that he went home with one. His name is Thomas Palo, and he is well over seventy years old but has continued to practice and put his medical skills into good use.

For the isolated communities of Big Bay on the island of Santo Thomas is more than just an ordinary villager, he is a live saver. Though he is clearly well over the retired age Thomas is still strong and continues to address his people’s medical needs.

“When I was still young I studied nursing at the PMH (Paton Memorial Hospital) at Iririki from 1955 to 1957” he recalled. “In 1957 I finished my studies and returned to Big Bay and served under the Presbyterian Church Mission here before I was transferred to go and work under the British Government” he says.

This Citizen Deserves A Medal

He served as a medical provider under the British Government for a good number of years up until the late seventies, “I finished working with British Government in 1977. And in 1981, a year after we achieved independence I started the Aid Post here at Big Bay. Since then, I have served now for 35 years at the Aid Post” he said with an accomplished look on his face.

“I started the Aid Post and I have worked from it until today” he explained. “I have no salary. If I vaccinate you now, you pay me a hundred vatu, and that is all I need. I get my medical supplies from the pharmacy at the Northern District Hospital in Luganville.”

At that point in the conversation another villager came in to confirm that Thomas does not receive any official wages, only the villagers supply him with necessary necessities, “to try and make up for his unpaid years of hard work” he added, “ and yet he continues to help all the people in the area of Big Bay.”


Transparency International Vanuatu officers met with Thomas after a Right To Information awareness session that was held at his community in late June 2016. His story is remarkable and shows true independency and a commitment to serve the nation against challenging odds.


As we move closer towards celebrating Vanuatu’s 36th Independence Anniversary we must also keep in mind that there are hundreds, or if not thousands, of citizens out there who have, and still are, serving the country in their own special ways like Mr. Thomas