Last week was National Volunteer Week in Australia, and we were glad to be able to express our appreciation for all of the volunteers that make up PHA. Without volunteers, this organisation would not be able to carry out the scale of work we are doing throughout various communities across the South Pacific.
One of our wonderful volunteers is Evy Anwar, a director on the board of PHA and the Regional Manager for Vanuatu. Evy has brought a strong skillset to the organisation for three years, and is currently working on the Ohlen Freshwin project. She explains her drive to volunteer in the Q&A below.
Why did you join PHA? I always have a desire to give back to the community in need, because I feel
lucky to be able to live in a country such as Australia. I was involved in other volunteer work prior to joining PHA, but with PHA I feel I can focus on utilising my skills effectively. PHA has very clear process and streamlined structure.
What skills do you bring to PHA?
Urban design, master planning, strategic planning, community design and architecture.
Any challenges? Like any project, it is often a challenge to strike a balance between vision, community aspiration and budget. As we rely mostly on donations, it is important to maximise the budget for essential items. We strive to produce sustainable design which can be implemented locally using local resources, however we often find local resources can be limited.
What are you excited about in the work you’re doing with PHA? I think it is important to contribute and make a difference in our community, even if it is only a small change. Ohlen Freshwin project will create a better environment for the local community in comparison to their current living conditions. The community is currently living in informal settlements (i.e. squatting) and have limited access to properly set-up toilets. With better planning, the new community will stimulate a sense of ownership and care for the environment.