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Kiribati

Kiribati is one of the most challenging environments in the world when it comes to development. Consisting of 33 islands spread over 3.5 million square kilometres of ocean, the country's very existence is under threat from sea level rise resulting from climate change. Other challenges for i-Kiribati people include low per capita gross domestic product, rapid population growth, urbanisation and high youth unemployment.

Australian aid to Kiribati focuses on improving basic education, developing workforce skills, building economic growth and management and strengthening infrastructure. AVIDs in Kiribati are needed across a wide range of sectors from education and health, to workforce skill development and infrastructure.

Find out more about Kiribati by visiting the country specific Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade site. 

 

Kiribati - location info

  • Bikenibeu
  • Tabwiroa
  • Tarawa

Bikenibeu is the second biggest town on urban South Tarawa (capital of Kiribati) with an estimate population of 5,000. Main government ministries located in this town include the Ministries of Health & Medical Services; Education; and Environment, Lands & Agricultural Development. The Central Referral Hospital is also in this area. Other national institutions include the Kiribati Teachers' College, the Kiribati Nursing School and the Fisheries Training Center. The town has banking services, shops, local markets and telecommunications services. A police post is also in the area.

Kiribati is known as a "least developed country" with most of the population living a subsistence lifestyle. As such, access to communications and medical care can be limited, though these are constantly improving. The weather is consistently hot and very humid with an average temperature of about 30 degrees.

Tabuiroa, Abaiang, Kiribati is 5 min from the local airport, scheduled flights are on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays and take approximately 20 min to the airport at Bonriki on Tarawa. Abaiang Atoll is about 5 nautical miles from the northernmost end of Tarawa Atoll. The distance from Betio, the main business area of Tarawa, to the southernmost end of Abaiang, is about 23 nautical miles.

Tarawa is an atoll which is the capital of Kiribati (pronounced as "Kiribas"). Kiribati is comprised of the Gilbert Islands, Phoenix Islands and Line Islands and encompasses 32 atolls altogether. Tarawa is the main administrative centre of Kiribati and is also one of the most densely populated areas in the Pacific, housing half of Kiribati's population (about 46,000). It consists of a lagoon fringed by miles of reef consisting of over 30 islets.

Kiribati is known as a "least developed country" with most of the population living a subsistence lifestyle. As such, access to communications and medical care can be limited, though these are constantly improving. The weather is consistently hot and very humid with an average temperature of about 30 degrees.

The small island nation of Kiribati is made up of 32 atolls, dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometres. Line Islands and the Phoenix Group is the largest atoll in the world, home to Kiritimati Island and unique fauna and flora. A large part of the island is a turquoise blue lagoon, with a shoreline that stretches 48km. Kiribati is unique in that it sits on the equator and borders the International Date Line. The people of Kiribati, known as i-Kiribati, are very welcoming and smile all the time. Like Australia, Kiribati is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, and it also became a full member of the United Nations in 1999.

- Kiribati In-Country Manager, Linda Uan

Kiribati - Cultural tips

  • The official languages are English and Gilbertese (based on the name of the main island group, the Gilbert Islands)
  • Food options are limited. In particular, fresh fruit and vegetables are very difficult to access. The local staples are fish and rice
  • Kiribati has a young population; over half are under the age of 25. Great respect should be shown to elders, particularly men
  • Celebrations called botaki are common and involve formalities, dancing and food
  • I-Kiribati people are typically very shy. Confrontation is always avoided; people will often say "yes" when they have no intention of agreeing

star Tips for Volunteers

Development in Kiribati is for the benefit of the people. As a volunteer you will go far if you take time to develop friendships with i-Kiribati.

Helena Palmquvist

Helena PalmquvistHelena Palmquvist  volunteered in Kiribati as a Women's Organsiational Development officer at Aia Moea Ainen Kiribati (AMAK).

See article

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. 

View here

Volunteering in PNG

Nurses Kylee St George, from Darwin, and Christian James, from Brisbane, meeting the challenges of volunteering in the health system in Papua New Guinea.

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