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Good progress has been made in recent years in the development of Samoa. Whilst its economy has experienced slowed growth, universal primary education is almost achieved; gender disparity in primary and secondary education has been eliminated and child and maternal mortality rates have been reduced. However, challenges remain with nearly 27 per cent of Samoans living below the national poverty line and society facing growing costs from lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

Australia is also working to improve the health of Samoans so that they can live longer, have more productive lives and contribute to the economy. Improving the economic and regulatory environment in Samoa is a critical component to stimulating economic growth and building resilience to future economic shocks.Australian investments are supporting the work of the Samoan government to further develop an effective public sector and well-functioning institutions.

Australian volunteer assignments in Samoa are spread across six key Australian aid country program priority areas: health, education, governance and economic stability, law and justice and community development and social services.

Find out more about Samoa by visiting the country specific Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Smart Traveller sites.


Samoa - location info

  • Apia
  • Iva

Apia is the capital of Western Samoa and is located on Upolu Island, a stunning tropical location with pristine beaches, lava cliffs and rainforest. Apia has a warm, humid climate throughout the year, with a dry season from May to October and a wet season from November to April. Key holidays include Independence Day in June, the Teulia festival in September and White Sunday in October, which celebrates the children of Samoa.

Evening curfews are commonplace; sa is practiced in some parts of the country, which involves prayer, singing and Bible readings. A gong or conch shell generally signals the beginning of sa, during which time movement around the village is forbidden. Apia has a population of about 40 000. Services such as ATMs, mobile coverage and internet are accessible. Taxis and local buses are available, in addition to health facilities and pharmacies, restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

Iva is a five minute drive from the village of Salelaloga on the island of Savaii. The ferry between the islands of Savaii and Upolu is based at Salelaloga. Savaii is larger than Upolu but is less developed; it is a small and safe island, with simple accommodation and only one main road. The island boasts stunning cliffs, pristine beaches, caves, and blowholes. Other attractions include a turtle reserve, surfing opportunities, and diving spots.

Samoa's beauty comes from its ability to share the culture and traditions against a backdrop of modern urban lifestyles in Apia, offering all visitors the opportunity to embrace both within easy distance of each other. Working as an In-Country Manager has enabled me to see first-hand the impact of the work volunteers do in this country which becomes for some a very personal (and powerful) experience as both volunteers and Host Organisations share a little bit of themselves with each other along the way. As an island in the Pacific, Samoa faces unpredictable challenges from the impact of natural disasters such as tsunamis and during the months of October to April, cyclones.

- Samoa In-Country Manger, Frances Soon-Schuster

star Tips for Volunteers

Samoan people are friendly and readily welcome all visitors. New volunteers are always encouraged to make the most of this through meeting new people and experiencing something new - knowing that the In-Country Management Team and volunteers already in the country are their safety net.

Disability Initiative Grant Funding Project


Apply Now: Disability Initiative Grants for Australian volunteers

Current Australian volunteers supported by both Scope Global and AVI can now apply for grant funding to support initiatives that promote collaboration, capacity development and equal opportunities for people with disabilities.

Applications close 9 January 2017.


In Country Management

In Country Management TeamsEach and every country we work in has its own dedicated In- Country Management Team (ICM Team). These teams develop assignments in consultation with Host Organisations and provide extensive support to volunteers in country. 

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Ask an IT Specialist

meganPraeger-moduleAmy Carland volunteered in PNG as a Management and Systems Advisor. Learn more about her experience volunteering using her IT skills here.

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Katrina Lancaster Maggs

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Katrina Lancaster-Maggs volunteered as a Deaf Empowerment Officer in Samoa. Katrina is also deaf and in this video, shares her experience volunteering abroad through the AVID program. 

Watch the Video

Riza de la Cruz

Riza CruzRiza de la Cruz volunteered as an ICT Officer at the Samoa Law and Justice Sector Secretariat in Samoa.

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