THE MAN IN THE blue cut-out shirt in the picture expressed a smile of satisfaction when he received 5 copies of the Vanuatu Constitution 15 years after he began his search for it.
He clutched the Constitution books hard against his chest and said “thank you very much, I have searched for the Vanuatu Constitution since 2001, thank you Transparency International Vanuatu, I am so happy.”
His search for the Vanuatu Constitution began when he came to Port Vila to take part in the 2001 round island relay. “I took part in the 2001 round island relay on the island Efate, when I was there I looked for a copy of the Vanuatu Constitution, I wanted to bring one back with me to Tanna” he said.
Unfortunately for him, finding a Vanuatu Constitution book in the capital Port Vila was an impossible task. “I saw a copy of it but it belonged to a cousin of mine and it was in English, I had to return to Tanna empty handed,” he said still clutching the Constitution books firmly in his hands.
He is from Kwarmanu village which is located in the south eastern part of the island of Tanna. When Officers from Transparency International Vanuatu arrived there they were busy clearing up a thick growth of grass that had grown around a UNICEF tent that was being used to accommodate pre-school classes.
The TIV officers held a short meeting with the villagers who were present and talked to them about the rights stipulated in the Mama Loa, and a lot of emphasis was stressed on the Right To Information (RTI) Policy which was the main objective of the tour to Tanna.
The officers were part of another group that had traveled further down south to the village of Manuapen to deliver the same information and more Constitution books.
During the meeting corruption was also talked about, and later corruption booklets were given out to the members of the community. Also, over 20 Constitution books were given to the Kwarmanu Primary School library for students to access.