Port Vila, Vanuatu Club

About Us

Kiwanis International Colour logoAN OVERVIEW OF KIWANIS

Where did it all start?

Kiwanis originated in Detroit, USA almost 100 years ago.  It reached New Zealand in 1967, New Caledonia in 1970, Vanuatu in 1973 and French Polynesia in 1988.


Our vision is to be the best Service Organization, with quality members, quality meetings, quality leadership and quality service.

 What does ‘Kiwanis” mean?

The name “Kiwanis” was adapted from the expression “Nunc Kee-wanis” in the Otchipew Native American language and has many meanings.

         “We have a good time”

         “We make a noise”

         “To Express Oneself”

The Objects

  • To give primacy to the human and spiritual, rather than to the material, values of life
  • To encourage the daily living of the Golden Rule in all human relationships
  • To promote the adoption and the application of higher social, business and professional standards
  • To develop, by precept and example, a more intelligent, aggressive and serviceable citizenship
  • To provide, through Kiwanis Clubs, a practical means to form enduring friendships to render altruistic service and to build better communities
  • To co-operate in maintaining that sound public opinion and high idealism which make possible the increase of righteousness, justice, patriotism and goodwill.

The Purpose

The original purpose of Kiwanis was to exchange business between members and to serve the poor.  The debate as to whether to focus on networking or service was resolved in 1919, when Kiwanis adopted a service-focused mission.  East year, clubs sponsor nearly 150,000 service projects and raise more than $107 million.  As a global project in coordination with UNICEF, members and clubs contributed more than $80 million toward the global elimination of iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), the leading preventable cause of mental retardation.

Until 1988 the organization accepted only men as members.  By action of the International Convention in 1987, the rules were change to admit women as well.  Currently women constitute about 22% of total members.

Kiwanis tries to serve children and youth using two approaches.  One attempts to improve the quality of life directly through activities promoting health, education, etc.  The other tries to encourage leadership and service among youth.

More than 380,000 men and women around the world proudly wear the “K” of Kiwanis.  Though these men and women have many responsibilities and their time is valuable, they attend meetings each fortnight and actively participate in community service projects sponsored by their Kiwanis Clubs.

What is Kiwanis?

Kiwanis is a Service Club for men and women, dedicated to the children of the world and the communities we live in.  There are no restrictions on the number of people from any one age group who may joint, nor is there any age restriction other than 20 years of age at entry.  We in Kiwanis place emphasis on family involvement, and enjoy “hands-on” service to the community.  We often co-operate with other Service Clubs and sometimes there is friendly rivalry.  Which Service Club you join is a matter of what really suits you.  The point is that, as a group, men and women can achieve far more than any individual can.

Kiwanis is about service and fellowship

Kiwanis is about serving the children of the world

Kiwanis is about building a better community

Kiwanis is about lifelong enduring friendships

Kiwanis is about leadership, learning and self-development

Kiwanis is about networking in the local community

Kiwanis is about and in 82 nations worldwide


The Champion for Children

Founded in 1915 and headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, Kiwanis International is a thriving organization of service and community-minded individuals who support children and young adults around the world.  More than 8,000 Kiwanis clubs in more than 80 countries make their mark by responding to the needs of their communities and pooling their resources to address worldwide issues.  Through these efforts, Kiwanis International truly is “Serving the Children of the World”.


Making an Impact

Kiwanis clubs view their role within their respective communities with a great deal of foresight.  Key aspects to operating an effective club include:-

  • Evaluating both children’s issues and community needs on an ongoing basis
  • Conducting service projects to respond to those identified needs
  • Maintaining an active membership roster of professional business people who have both the desire and the ability to serve their community.

Service projects often are linked to the Kiwanis program, “Young Children: Priority One”.  This initiative places continuing focus on the needs of children in pediatric trauma, safety, child care, early development, infant health, nutrition, and parenting skills.

Service projects also can address other needs within the community, such as helping the elderly, promoting literacy, supporting youth sports, responding to disasters, and supporting specific persons in need.


Who are members of Kiwanis?

Kiwanians are community leaders, business people and professionals both men and women.  Young individuals embarking on careers, successful executives and active retirees.

Kiwanians are engaged in a variety of industries, commerce and public service.

Kiwanians are individuals who have the desire to build a better community and enjoy the fun and fellowship of working with other Kiwanians to achieve it.

There are more than 640,000 members in the Kiwanis family in over 13,300 clubs worldwide.

 What kind of people join Kiwanis?

Men and women of good character, of varying ages and from all walks of life who have in common a desire to do something in the community.

Benefits you can enjoy as a Kiwanian

  • Share in the warmth and fellowship with people who, whilst all different, share a common ideal
  • Help pinpoint your community’s needs and work with others to meet these needs
  • Have an opportunity at Club Meetings to listen to a variety of Guest Speakers, many of whom are extremely interesting and entertaining.
  • Visit other Clubs, attend Charter Nights, go to Conventions and so extend your friendships in Vanuatu, New Zealand, the South Pacific, and across the world
  • Feel great sense of pride and personal satisfaction – see the joy and gratitude on the faces of the young and old alike when you give them that very special help.


Kiwanis Projects in Vanuatu

In almost 40 years in Vanuatu the Kiwanis Club of Port Vila has made contributions to an enormous array of community projects.  In recent times these have included:-

  • Re-roofing schools in rural areas
  • Relocation and construction of Mamas Markets on Port Vila Seafront
  • Providing practical sanitation facilities at various schools
  • Distributing over 35 shipping container loads of school equipment to over 100 schools from Aneityum to Torba and most islands in between, provided with the generous support of the Kiwanis Club of New Zealand.  These include:-

– School books

– Library books

– Desks and chairs

– Filing Cabinets

– Folios, pencils, and paper

– Sports Equipment

– Roofing iron

– Second hand clothing

– School uniforms

  • Assisting with the provision of a prosthetic limb
  • Medical and practical support for patients requiring overseas treatment
  • The Duck Race – Womens Cancer project
  • Re-cycling projects
  • Initiated “Clean up Vanuatu” activities in conjunction with Sir Ian Kiernan’s “Clean Up the World” campaign
  • Assisted community groups with construction of catchments and installation of water tanks.
  • Support for Vanuatu Cricket development programs
  • Distribution of soccer-; basket-; volley-; and, net-balls to many youth and community groups
  • Assisted community groups in construction of community halls and meeting places
  • Provided assistance to Vanuatu Red Cross with goods to include in their disaster kits.
  • Provided the Port Vila Hospital Childrens’ Ward with:-

– Warm clothing to help patients and families that have to travel overseas for treatment

– Reading books and videos

– TV and video set

– Furnishings

– Toys

  • Support for Vanuatu Womens’ Beach Volley Ball Team
  • Port Vila Waterfront Beautification Program.
  • Assisted Red Cross; Boy Scouts and Girl Guides of Vanuatu
  • Supplied uniforms to Vanuatu Mobile Force Band
  • Construction of footbridge for Kindergarten children access to their school
  • Establishment of a High Dependency Room in Childrens’ Ward at Port Vila hospital

Some of the schools that we have directly assisted in the past 5 years include:

Port Elizabeth – Ambrym

Malo PS

Central School – Vila

Vila East PS

Latap Primary S-W Tanna

Kwataparen Junior Secondary S-W Tanna

Napangasale Junior Secondary – Tongoa

Seaside School – Vila

Tassiriki School – Moso

Maskelynes and South Malekula Schools

Megamony and surrounding Schools – North Ambrym

Mele Village School

Mele Village Kindy

Peter Pan – Vila

Vila North PS

Malapoa College

Matevulu College – Santo

Onta PS – West Gaua

Dorig PS – South Gaua

Panel PS – Mota

Robin Primary – Ureparapara

Mele Maat Kindy

Mataso PS

Wujunmel School – Central Pentecost

Torlie PS – Pentecost

Tata School – Santo

Ipota PS – Erromango

Kawenu PS – Vila

Happy Land PS – Erromango

Tapisie PS – Erromango

Lonnoc School – Santo

Lenakel PS – Tanna

Tafea College – Tanna

NduiNdui PS – Ambae

Lamen Bay PS – Epi

And many, much, more


Kiwanis Fundraising and Support Activities

The main forms of fundraising and support for Kiwanis projects in Vanuatu include:-

  • The annual Charity Horse Races Week
  • The Kiwanis Melbourne Cup Ladies Luncheon
  • The “Gold Rush”
  • Contributions from Kiwanis in New Zealand and New Caledonia
  • Support from Kiwanis Members in Vanuatu
  • The generosity of the Vanuatu business community


Mark Stafford


Port Vila, Vanuatu