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VSA To Send Volunteers To East Timor

Volunteer Service Abroad is planning to set up a programme in East Timor later this year, VSA chair Hilary Smith announced yesterday [Tuesday 13 February] at a function at Parliament to mark the International Year of Volunteers 2001.

VSA will be only the second national volunteer agency, after Australian Volunteers International, to set up a programme in the newly independent East Timor.

Ms Smith said the first assignments would see skilled New Zealanders working with local East Timorese groups which are engaged in practical vocational training, community agriculture, women's organisations and the rehabilitation of water supplies.

The volunteers will work in areas centred around Dili, Baucau and Suai, she said.

Ms Smith also announced a book project the will see eight of New Zealand's leading documentary photographers travel to countries in Asia, Africa and the Pacific to record the work of VSA volunteers.

She said the photographs, by such notable photographers as Bruce Connew, Gil Hanly, Terry O'Connor and Bryn Evans, would be published in a book to mark VSA's 40th anniversary in 2002.

The photographers are all donating their time free of charge in the spirit of VSA, Ms Smith said.

VSA is a non-religious, non-government, not-for-profit international development agency that has been placing New Zealand volunteers in developing countries since 1962. More than 100 VSA volunteers worked in the South Pacific, Asia and Africa last year.

For more information contact VSA communications coordinator Jeremy Rose, ph 472 5759 or 025 247 2491.

© Scoop Media

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