VANGO strides ahead

There’s an air of optimism among civil society organisations in Vanuatu.

This is after the Vanuatu Association of Non- Governmental Association (VANGO) was visibly on track with a successful annual general meeting in Port Vila last week.

The meeting was attended by representatives of organisations that are working in various areas such as gender, disability, environment, arts, human rights, media and international NGOs.

Following challenges faced last year, forcing the intervention of the Vanuatu Government to set up a taskforce which elected a new board in September last year, VANGO has been able to resume its mission with the assistance of the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Associations (PIANGO), despite challenges it still faced.

At the end of a policy dialogue in Port Vila last week, VANGO members convened and endorsed a roadmap towards its Strategic Plan referred to as VANGO 2020. This roadmap includes strengthening the institutional capacity of VANGO and devising ways of collaboration among its members in taking the organisation forward.

 “Vanuatu as a nation, is very proud, very protective of its traditions and Kastom. Vanuatu has been firm on decolonisation and self-determination and VANGO’s AGM reflected those sentiments and that spirit of taking charge of one’s destiny.”

She said NGOs faced challenges but showed resilience and in the case of VANGO, there is now stronger resolve by its members to strengthen its influence and vibrancy and improve the effectiveness of the board and management to fulfil its true role as the umbrella organisation for NGOs and civil society in Vanuatu.

“Through the funding of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the EU, PIANGO has been able to support VANGO to take strides getting back on track,” she said.

“It’s very inspiring and encouraging.”

An extraordinary meeting will now be held in July to adopt the strategic plans and endorse audit accounts.



Photo by Harold Obed-Tahun. Caption: Participants at the VANGO AGM in Port Vila.



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