Sam and Jill lookin’ out for Vanuatu’s animals

With parasites, a variety of possible skin infections, scarce food, and a culture that doesn’t treat them anything like human children, life is hard for dogs, cats, and arguably domestic animals in general in Vanuatu. There is one shelter located in Vila that’s here to help. Sam’s Animal Welfare Association is like Vanuatu’s Humane Society. They administer vaccination, host de-sexing events, and educate communities about the importance of animal health. Given the poverty of infrastructure in this archipelago, they can’t reach everywhere~ but they do good work where they can.

Living thousands of miles away from our home country, Peace Corps volunteers come into Port Vila, often from very rural and isolated villages, looking for some comfort food. For them, there is Jill’s Café, a lovely place to enjoy a burrito, omelette, or cinnamon roll without having to embark on a trip away from the South Pacific. Seriously, access to this kind of comfort food can make or break a PCV’s service.

So (to personify these two places whether it makes sense or not) what did Sam and Jill do to make me think they were both even more awesome than I already thought they were? They made a bookstore for tourists in the middle of the café, the proceeds of which go to support the work of Sam’s. Keep in mind Port Vila (the capital of the Republic of Vanuatu) is a town limited to a small library and a bible store in the way of decent reading material.

This idea rocks. And generally makes a quick trip into the café turn into time flying as we stare at the wealth of books.

Thanks for being awesome, Sam and Jill.

Peter, PCV, in a daze over so many potential books to take back and share with our rural village on Erromango.
Peter, PCV, in a daze over so many potential books to take back and share with our rural village on Erromango.

2 thoughts on “Sam and Jill lookin’ out for Vanuatu’s animals”

  1. We were on a cruise ship, one of the stops was Champagne Bay, there were a couple of very skinny dogs, would you be able to help them? I bought some food on the Island and fed them but felt awful leaving them there, they were soooo hungry. Thanks

    1. Hi Christine. I was a Peace Corps volunteer who witnessed the same as you–hundreds of animals in the same situation in Vanuatu. The country’s resources for helping these animals is minimal–and not any better since Cyclone Pam.

      Unfortunately, I’m not in Vanuatu anymore. The best option for helping is through in-country organizations like Sam’s Animal Welfare Association. I encourage you to contact them for ways you can support their effort:

      Thanks for reaching out!

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