How We Work

Our guiding principles, strategies and processes.


The following principles guide the goals, strategies and all activities of the Melanie Jewson Foundation:

  1. Access to quality health and education is a basic human right.
  2. We are needs-based.
  3. We are culturally safe.
  4. We practice responsible waste reduction and sustainability.
  5. We are accountable to the people we support and the people who support us.


Partnership building is key to the work that we do and it is what sets us apart.

The Melanie Jewson Foundation’s donation strategy is based on principles of ethical, needs-based donation of equipment and resources. This means that every project funded is driven by the identified needs of the staff of the school or hospital in question, as well as the Vanuatuan Government. We work hard to ensure that items are of an acceptable standard and fit all specifications required.

We do this not only because we believe that the people of Vanuatu know best what they need, but to ensure that donated equipment is appropriate and useful. According to the World Health Organisation, as little as 40% of equipment donated to developing countries ends up being used. Our success rate is close to 100%. We attribute this to our respectful and long-lasting relationship with the people in Vanuatu and our approach to ethical donation.

For further information, please see our documents:

Guideline for the Donation of Medical Products

Guideline for the donation of Educational Resources

Addressing the Health Need

Medical devices and other health technologies are vital for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, as well as the promotion of health. Access to such devices and technologies remains unequal throughout the world. Indeed, one of WHO’s strategic objectives is to “ensure improved access, quality and use of medical products and technologies.” Vanuatu, like many low-middle-income countries, relies heavily on the donation of medical equipment in order to meet the growing health needs of its population. Although these donations are often made with good intentions, they can be ineffective and burdensome unless completed with proper communication, partnership and planning.

The MJF Health Team has been collaborating with Vila Central Hospital (VCH) and the Ministry of Health in Vanuatu since 2012. Through this collaboration, the MJF has been able to establish key partnerships both in the hospital and in government. It is through these partnerships that we are able to accurately determine the unmet need for medical equipment in the hospital and are able to coordinate with key stakeholders to provide high quality, appropriate and useful equipment.


  1. The MJF Health Team liaises with the Head of Department at VCH in person and via email.
    The Head of Department advises on essential equipment their departments require.
  2. The MJF Health Team collaborates with the Ministry of Health (Vanuatu), the Vanuatu Health Program (VHP) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia) to ensure there is no overlap in equipment being provided.
  3. The MJF Health Team assesses equipment on biomedical compatibility.
  4. The MJF Health Team procure only new, or refurbished to new standard equipment from Australian suppliers.
  5. The MJF Health Team collaborates with Kalgin Global Logistics which provides subsidised shipping of all equipment from Australia to Vanuatu.
  6. The MJF Health Team conducts an evaluation of the equipment donated.
  7. The medical equipment we donate is always procured as new. This is based on World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines. The MJF Health Team aims to visit VCH annually and meet with key officials from the Ministry of Health and the Head of Department at the Hospital to coordinate future shipments and address any issues that may have arisen from the previous shipment or equipment. The MJF Health Team ensures that all equipment is being used appropriately at VCH.

Addressing the Educational Need

The Melanie Jewson Foundation understands the educational need that exists in Vanuatu, and also the benefits, both on an individual and societal level, of improved literacy levels in the community. Literacy lifts individuals out of poverty, it improves the development of the wider community, it reduces infant mortality rates and is empowering for all, especially women and girls.

Since 2012, the MJF Education Team has been collaborating with Vila East Primary School (VEPS) and the Ministry of Education & Training (MOET) in Vanuatu. Through these collaborations, we have been able to establish key partnerships both in the school and in government. The MJF is now branching out to other jurisdictions, establishing connections with educational professionals in Sanma Province in Vanuatu’s north. These strong partnerships enable us to determine where the need is the greatest and accurately plan for effective resource delivery.

Books are usually purchased locally in Vanuatu through Industry Partner Read Pacific so educational professionals have the opportunity to choose the composition of their literacy packs, keeping engagement strong and in-classroom use high. Sourcing the resources in Vanuatu also helps to support the local economy.


  1. The MJF Education Team liaises with appropriate personnel at MOET and/or with Principals/Leaders in individual schools in person and via email.
    Advice is received from relevant staff about reading/learning resources required.
  2. The MJF Education Team purchases new resources from Australian/NZ suppliers. Where possible, these are sourced locally in Vanuatu.
  3. The MJF Education Team collaborates with Kalgin Global Logistics which provides subsidised shipping of all equipment from Australia to Vanuatu.
  4. The MJF Education Team conducts an evaluation of the resources donated.
  5. The educational resources we donate are always procured as new, culturally respectful and inclusive. The MJF Education Team aims to regularly visit Vanuatu to meet with key officials from Vanuatu’s Ministry of Education and Training as well as staff at individual schools. As much as possible, The MJF Education Team ensures that donated resources are being used effectively in the classroom and takes any learnings into account for future projects.

Where the Money Comes From

The vast majority of our funds are donated by individuals. Contributors give one-off donations, regular donations or just come out and support our fundraising events. We have a number of generous Foundation Partners who make regular contributions or provide services either pro bono or at a heavily discounted rate. We are thankful to all of our donors, especially those who make significant contributions each year. Find out more about how you can become a donor or Foundation Partner.

Where the Money Goes

We work closely with professionals across health and education services in Vanuatu to determine where there is need and where our funds would be most beneficial. Run entirely by volunteers, the MJF has very few overheads and hidden costs. The vast majority of funds raised go directly to Vanuatu-based projects, retaining a modest sum to cover administration and fundraising costs.

Average Expenditure

On average, the Melanie Jewson Foundation allocates 84% of its income to program activities. Only 5% is spent on administrative costs including processing fees. The rest (11%) is invested into marketing, publicity and events to help raise future funds.