Vanuatu Paralympic Committee launches website

PORT VILA, 26 SEPTEMBER 2018 (VANUATU DAILY POST)—It is estimated that Vanuatu, with a population of 272,459, has between 13,623 to 32,826 people living with an impairment.

The figure is inexact, because at Census time, many communities hide family members who have an impairment. Why? Some point to Black Magic, or shame. How to change this attitude? How to make communities aware of the valuable contributions and roles that people living with an impairment can make?

Georges Langa, Vanuatu’s internationally successful para rower, pleads for people to be brought out of “Dark Corners” and given a chance to lead fuller, healthier lives, to gain respect and understanding and be given the chance to play their part in communities.

Awareness and advocacy play a critical role in this process and utilising modern tools such as Social Media, Press Releases and its weekly radio program on FM 107 have all helped to improve public understanding of the challenges faced by people with a disability in Vanuatu.

“It’s been our dream to have a really up-to-date Web Site to post all of our Media Releases, Athlete Profiles, photos, documents and reports and linked videos,” comments Margaret Macfarlane, VPC President. “We were very fortunate to have Rae McQueen of Read Pacific offer to fund the costs of developing our new Web Site which the committee has now endorsed to “Go Live” this week.

Georges Langa is on the VPC Committee as Athlete Representative but will also add to his role as our new Web Site maintenance officer. By using the Web Site and keeping it up to date with stories of our parathletes and their stories as our Change Champions, we hope to improve public perceptions and awareness.”

Jessica Richardson, an Australian AVID volunteer funded through the Australian Government supported AVID Program has worked with the Committee, athletes and sponsors to develop the Web Site, “There are just so many great stories. We’ll be adding new items on a regular basis, so log on regularly to the new Web Site and follow us on Facebook!”

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