How to get involved

You can involve yourself with the work of the Trust by donating money or volunteering. We welcome both! If you would like to volunteer, get in touch with us – our contact details are at the bottom of this page. If you would like to donate, scroll down for details of our various funds. You can also purchase “gifts” for your friends and family. Details on how to donate and purchase gifts are also at the bottom of this page.

School fees fund 

Receiving a basic education in rural Vanuatu is tough. Until 2010, primary school was not subsidised by the government. Many parents struggle to find sufficient funds to pay their children’s school fees. The main source of income in rural Vanuatu comes from harvesting coconuts to make copra. It is a laborious task with small returns. The fees for secondary school have not been waived as yet, costing approximately NZD$1000 per year for each child.

In 2011, the Butterfly Trust promised to subsidise the further education of 28 boys and girls in their final year of primary school at Sangalai Centre School. With the help of donations from our sponsors, each child received a subsidy to give him or her a headstart into secondary school in 2012. Without this assistance, a substantial proportion of students would either have left school at this early stage or have been forced to interrupt their studies until such time as sufficient funds could be raised.

The Butterfly Trust has provided ongoing assistance to boys and girls in their final year of primary school at Sangalai who qualify to attend secondary school. We currently support approximately 50 pupils to attend secondary school by paying one third of each year’s fees. Some of our pupils are now in Year 13.

The fund is administered by the Butterfly Trust Committee on the Maskelyne Islands and the Trust audits the bank account and payments.

David Esau and Jeloty Kalosin were both from the Sangalai Centre School in the Maskelynes and have each received a contribution towards their school fees.

Click here to find out about some other recipients.

To help brighten the future of these eager young boys and girls, make a donation to the School Fees Fund or purchase of gift of school fees for family and friends.

We make no deductions from your donation. 100% of it goes to the communities you help us support.

Vocational training fund

The Trust has organised workshops in building and construction and in solar power installation and generator maintenance. It is presently running “Build Back Safer” education courses in Port Vila and Malekula in partnership with Caritas and IOM. We do this to assist adults with few or no qualifications gain further skills, to promote self-reliance and to generate income opportunities. In the “Build Back Safer” courses, we are also helping strengthen the local building stock to withstand future disasters, and building community structures for future community use.

Make a donation to this training fund or purchase a gift card for family and friends.

Again, no administrative deductions will be taken from your donations.

Health and health education work

The Trust concentrates on providing community health education to remote communities in Vanuatu, plus facilitating a core group of medical and dental practitioners (both local and from overseas) to provide some clinical care. It sponsors a local group known as VOHA (Vanuatu Oral Health Awareness) which provides oral health education to kindergarten, school, and community groups throughout Vanuatu. It runs and maintains a small dental clinic at the Health Centre at Lamap in south Malekula.

The Trust is also supporting ASSB (Aloha Social Services Bangladesh) by sourcing volunteer doctors to work in ASSB’s rural hospital in northern Bangladesh. The volunteers receive free accommodation, a living allowance, and some expenses. If you would like to volunteer, or know someone who may be interested, please contact us.

Make a donation to this health fund or purchase a gift card for family and friends.

Again, no administrative deductions will be taken from your donations.

Love Care Home

The Trust is helping the Love Care Home in Nagaland, India, raise funds to complete a retaining wall which will keep out the monsoon rains. The Love Care Home is a refuge for abandoned children. Through the home, the children receive shelter, food, and a family. They go to the local schools and are given a chance to live productive lives. The home needs NZ$15,000 to complete the retaining wall.

All donations will be spent 100% on the retaining wall with no deductions for administrative fees.

General donations

If you wish to make a general donation to the Butterfly Trust, 100% of your contribution will either be placed towards a specific fund or distributed between various health and education projects. Your donation is very valuable and will help us provide training to teachers, vocational tutors, nurses, doctors, dentists and dental therapists. It could also be used to improve the facilities and structures in which these people work.

Gifts for family & friends

Gifts for any amount you specify will be gratefully accepted. For example, you can gift a week’s schooling, a piece of the retaining wall at the Love Care Home, or a day’s training.

As a guide, the costs of subsidising a third of secondary school fees in Vanuatu are as follows (all in NZ dollars):

  • 1 week’s schooling for $25
  • A fortnight’s contribution $50
  • 1 month’s schooling for $100
  • Fund a term at school $330
  • Send a child to school for one year $1000

The costs involved in training up to 15 students on a 10-day workshop include:

  • Trainer’s per diem $100/day
  • Teaching resources & tools  $50 per student
  • Trainer’s transport & accommodation  $50/day

 We will send you a card  for you to write your message before gifting to your friends and loved ones.

How to volunteer, purchase your gift or make a donation

Donations can be deposited to: Account 12-3233-0464934-50 (reference either ‘School Fees’, ‘Vocational Training’, ‘Community Health’, ‘Love Care Home’ or ‘General’).

To place an order for a Butterfly Trust Gift Card, contact us on

To volunteer, email us on the address above or telephone +64 21 981 553.