Vanuatu’s Aneityum community has expressed its gratitude for a new health dispensary built thanks to the P&O Pacific Partnership with Save the Children. With due ceremony, Chief Silas presented a chief’s ceremonial walking stick to P&O Cruises Destinations Director Michael Mihajlov who in turn delivered it to Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry, completing a chief-to-chief chain from Vanuatu to Australia.
Mr Mihajlov said the walking stick was made from local hardwood – the snake represents medicine and the skull represents the human form. “It was a huge honour to receive the walking stick on behalf of Carnival Australia and the P&O Pacific Partnership, which had funded this very important medical dispensary,” he said.
The Aneityum dispensary is the biggest project completed to date under the partnership, which P&O passengers fund through a one dollar donation via their onboard accounts. Prior to the dispensary, the partnership also assisted with the building of two kindergartens and a health aid post.
During his visit, Mr Mihaljov also took time to meet with members of the local community to discuss the new Aneityum village tour, which now employs six guides and various handicraft producers.
“The tour was brilliantly executed, engaging and entertaining while educating participants in local cultural practices and history. I was also thrilled to see a vessel, which we donated six years ago, operational and fully manned. We conducted training and accreditation of four boat operators almost five years ago and through the support of our appointed tour operator, we are developing the skills required to locally run boat transfers and guided tours to various parts of the main island of Aneityum,” Mr Mihaljov said.