Through this blog I’ve been lucky enough to meet a lot of people that have given me a lot of insight to many of the questions I ask in my writings. When I first started this blog I made a promise to myself to learn more about Kiribati which means I have read lots of articles, met lots of wonderful people and discovered new organisations. There are a lot of smart, passionate people out there contributing significantly to Kiribati and the rest of the Pacific Islands and I find this very inspiring!
So this post is dedicated to the many people that contribute to the islands. Either on Kiribati or abroad, their work is dedicated, educational and a real bonus to Kiribati. Although there is no way at all for me to list the amount of people and organisations have Kiribati’ best interests at heart, here are a few that I think are absolutely fab.
Pheonix Islands Protected Area (PIPA)
The Pheonix Islands are one of the three clusters of islands that make up the nation of Kiribati (the other two being the Gilbert Islands and Ellice Islands). US marine scientist Greg Stone played a key role in making the Pheonix Islands a protected area, the second largest in the world. This is protecting the reef, the atolls and sea life in the area and is contributing significantly to maintaining one of the most beautiful oceanic areas in the world.
For more info check out www.phoenixislands.org
Or watch Greg Stone speak about the project here.
Kiribati Adaptation Project
However you feel towards Kiribati’ president – Anote Tong – you have to admit that his government have done a lot of campaigning for the future of Kiribati in regards to rising sea waters and climate change. A great government initiative is the Kiribati Adaptation Project which works with leading international scientists and engineers to try and find solutions to the lack of fresh water and rising water levels. I met the project manager for this initiative when I was there in December and although Kiribati has a tendancy to be quite slack and lazy, the people working for this are well educated and are determined to contribute to the country’s future.
Melbourne Kiribati Group
Although a much smaller organisation then the above but well worth the mention. This group work very hard in maintaining the Kiribati culture for those that live in Melbourne. They are constantly organising parties – let’s face it, the Kiribati people love any excuse for a botaki!! – and these parties are usually fundraising for groups or societies in need over in Kiribati. Their last event raised almost $3000 for the Tarawa Hospital. They also provide a Kiribati family for those missing the islands, organise dancing groups and support other organisations contributing to Kiribati. Thanks guys!
Check out their facebook page here
Call me a little biased but this is a little shout out to my Dad. My Mum and Dad have been married for 30 years and they met on Tarawa when Dad was commissioned to start the Kiribati Police Band in 1979. Although living in Australia, Dad has always provided the Police and KPG bands with music and support; he writes out the national anthem, hymns and marches for all their official events and always pops in whenever he is on the island. Just this year, Dad has organised for the Police band to gain more instruments.
Its people and groups like this that help keep Kiribati running. Kiribati is a tiny and poor nation and every little bit of help they receive is priceless.
So after my list, I’d like to hear yours. I’d love to hear more about all the different groups and individuals that give their time to preserve Kiribati’ beauty and culture.