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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31 Number 15, July 9, 1968

Demand for V.S.A. exceeds supply

Demand for V.S.A. exceeds supply

"Are sacrifices by the individual overshadowed by a suspicion of national self - interest?" queried John McGrath at a recent panel discussion on VSA held at the University.

The aims of the Peace Corps and Volunteer Service Abroad organisations are to assist in the social and economic development of the developing countries.

Dr R. F. Walters, a panel member, said that because of our comparative neutrality in cold war terms, the capacity of New Zealand to aid the Pacific Islands and areas of Southern Asia where VSA serves could become more highly developed.

Organised during International Week by the VSA subcommittee, the discussion was aimed at recruiting graduate volunteers from the University.

Miss J. Stewart, a graduate returnee, stressed the importance of volunteers training people of the host country to take over their work.

Speakers from the floor suggested that although it took the volunteer some time to become well acquainted with his task, there was more likelihood of an individual understanding the native culture than a large organisation.

Mr Guy Powles, a member of the Standing Committee for VSA. said that demand exceeds supply in all countries that the organisation serves.

"Many problems have been met because receiving countries have not thought out how to make the best use of aid provided," he said.

Comparison was drawn between the financing of the Peace Corps and VSA. The Peace Corps is completely government financed, whilst VSA retains independent control, our Government only paying administration costs.

Of seventy VSA volunteers, sixty have an allowance paid by the host country.

The annual expenditure on each Peace Corps volunteer is $7453, whilst that of the VSA volunteer is only $1500.

Ideas towards possible changes in the present training of volunteers included one month overlapping period between tours of duty.