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Quick trip, lots to do.
That is what Pat Shepherd from New Zealand children’s charity SpinningTop, had to say about the work that he and other volunteers are currently doing in Samoa.
Mr. Shepherd, along with about 14 other volunteers from New Zealand, is here to renovate the shelters in which the victims from the Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG) are staying.
“We found out about the SVSG in March when we were here on our research trip into how we could help children in the Pacific.
We came to see if there was any need for help here, and we found out about what SVSG does. We asked if we could see the shelters and saw that they were in need of repairs and supplies from New Zealand,” Mr. Shepherd said.
Spinning Top approached the locals and Samoan community in New Zealand, asking them to donate any useful items for the shelters and also for the victims.
They managed to get enough donated supplies to fill a 20ft container which was shipped here at no expense, thanks to former All Black, Rodney So’oialo, who is a supporter of Spinning Top.
“Rodney and his family are supporters of our charity, so when he heard that we were going to start work in Samoa he was very excited. He helped us not only financially, but also through his support and his networks, which have helped us get the container here for free”, Mr. Shepherd said.
Mr. Shepherd hopes that once people see the finished product of their work here, they will get more exposure and more help from overseas.
“The plan is, once we have more images to show the work that we are doing, we can tell people more about how we are working with the SVSG and how they can help and support from overseas”, Mr. Shepherd said.
The group from Spinning Top arrived last Sunday and will be leaving this Friday, with the promise that they will be back to continue their good Samaritan work here in Samoa.
“We will definitely be back. Once this job is done, we will talk with the SVSG to see what else there needs to be done...we are looking to see how we can keep working with the SVSG to provide support for the amazing work they do”, Mr. Shepherd said.
SpinningTop began in 2006 as Children on the Edge NZ, a branch of Children on the Edge UK, which was founded by the late, great Dame Anita Roddick in 1990.
In 2011, Children on the Edge NZ became Spinning Top, an NZ based, independent, not for profit organization giving balance to vulnerable children living in poverty, whose lives have been thrown off balance through war, oppression, natural disaster and circumstances beyond their control.