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Vaitupu Community Trust connects communities out west

Those lucky enough to hail from the beautiful Polynesian island of Vaitupu in Tuvalu come together for friendship and mutual support in the Vaitupu Community Trust. The charitable trust was set up in 2008, so Vaitupuans living in West Auckland could keep in touch with each other and promote their heritage.

‘We have 95 families among our membership,’ explains the trust’s Project Coordinator Alamai Sioni. 'That's about 500 individual members, and 50 per cent are children and young people. Many of our members are related to each other, so there's a strong bond between us,’ she says.

Vaitupu is a small island covering just 5.6 square kilometres. However, as the large membership of the Vaitupu Community Trust shows, there’s a sizeable population living in West Auckland. The trust meets monthly to oversee a range of activities. There are also dedicated groups for young people and women. And the organisation is part of the wider Tuvalu Auckland Community Trust.

The social bonds forged by the community trust have been even more critical during the pandemic. With isolation a big issue for many families, the trust worked hard to keep Vaitupuans connected through their Facebook page.Thankfully, in-person events are now back on the agenda. And cultural celebrations are a huge part of the trust’s activities and involve coming together over shared food, traditional music and dancing.

Vaitupuans are also sports mad. And now, thanks to the Your West Support Fund, the trust has some brand-new sports equipment for members to enjoy. Alamai says the Vaitupu Community Trust is very grateful for the support. The $5,000 funding has gone towards buying sports gear to improve the physical fitness of families and members. ‘We hope the availability of quality sports equipment will encourage members to engage in physical fitness at our events or as part of the youth and women’s groups,’ reports Alamai.

Vaitupu Community Trust welcomes anyone interested in joining in their activities, so get in touch to find out more.