Volunteer profile: David Guest
David Guest, Australian Volunteer for International Development, Life Saving Trainer with the Samoan Tourism Authority
David is an Australian Volunteer for International Development (AVID), volunteering as a Life Saving Trainer with the Samoan Tourism Authority to provide training in surf lifesaving. David is also running lifesaving competitions to encourage local involvement.
A highlight of David’s time so far is working with the Samoa Tourism Authority to organise Samoa’s second Lifesaving Champion Competition.
'It was great to see competitors put into practice the lifesaving skills they have learned,' David said. 'They have come a long way since the Surf Life Saving Program started two years ago.
'We plan to go to four locations around Samoa over eight days to raise water awareness, beach safety and undertake first aid demonstrations.
'We’ll also organise fun competitions to involve local communities and get our message across at the grass roots level, by visiting local primary schools to talk about water awareness.'
With several years’ experience in training and undertaking assessments, David is looking to use his skills to teach others to become trainers.
'With the support of the Samoa Tourism Authority, I’m assisting with reviewing and editing the Surf Life Saving Samoa Training Manual, which is designed for tourism operators to use when training staff.'
David sees his time in Samoa as a positive life-changing experience that will have long-term sustainable impacts in the community.
Volunteer profile: Emma Heard
Emma Heard, Australian Youth Ambassador for Development, School of Nursing at the National University of Samoa
Emma is an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development (AYAD) volunteer working with the School of Nursing at the National University of Samoa (NUS) to set up a free health clinic at NUS and organise community health promotion activities.
Love Bugs—one activity held on campus—aimed at raising awareness of sexually transmitted infections and giving young people information needed to support their wellbeing.
This successful initiative was driven by students, who raised concerns about the limited access to sexual health resources, services and information for young people in Samoa.
'We were initially concerned that the community might respond negatively to this event,’ Emma said. ‘But we found students and staff actively engaged in the activities and they seemed relieved to have a safe place to discuss sexual health issues.'
As a result of the event, free condom dispensers were installed on campus, in collaboration with the Samoa Family Health Association, the Samoa Red Cross and different departments on campus.
Emma is also helping set up a free health clinic for students and staff at NUS.
'The health clinic will initially offer basic health checks and first aid services and will eventually lead to becoming the hub for health promotions on campus', she said.
How to apply
More information, including applicant eligibility criteria can be found on the Australian Volunteers website.
Video: Changing Lives—Australian Volunteers in Samoa
Watch this video on YouTube.