VT1M sponsorship to MACFEST part of VNPF’s social responsibility: Edwin

By Anita Roberts.

Acting GM Edwin assured that the sponsorship is taken from VNPF’s annual budget and will not affect members’ funds.By Anita Roberts

The Vanuatu National Provident Fund’s (VNPF) sponsorship of the 7th Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival (MACFEST) with VT1 million is part of its social responsibility to its members and the society.

This statement was made by the Acting General Manager (AGM) of the Fund, Richard Terry Edwin. VNPF believes festivals like MACFEST which promote culture are important for the well-being of its members, he said.

The AGM said MACFEST is an opportunity for its members to learn and celebrate not only Vanuatu’s culture and tradition but also those from other Melanesian countries.

Organisers of the MACFEST commended VNPF for demonstrating commitment to preserve and promote the countries’ diverse cultural traditions. The sponsorship will enable artists, performers, and cultural enthusiasts from across the Melanesian region to come together and celebrate their shared heritage.

“The festival has not only been a celebration of art, music, dance, and storytelling, but also a platform for cultural exchange, unity, and understanding. It has strengthened the bonds between our Melanesian brothers and sisters, fostering a deeper appreciation for our collective identity,” the organisers conveyed in a statement.

This is not the first time for VNPF to sponsor such an important event. VNPF was the main sponsor for the broadcasting of last year’s World Cup to members.

Through this latest sponsorship to MACFEST, VNPF is given a free space at one of the festival venues to promote the Fund and its services to the public.

The AGM assured all members that their funds are safe, as the VT1 million sponsorship is sourced from the VNPF’s operational budget. According to him, this year’s budget is around VT400 million.

“It’s part of our annual budget. Social responsibility is included in our yearly budget and we ensure we spend responsibly,” he said.

As part of its social responsibility, VNPF is also required to declare annual interest rate for members each financial year.

AGM Edwin assured members that the 2021 interest rate is expected this month as planned, following the release of the year’s audited financial statement. The financial statement for 2022 is expected later in September.

The financial statements of 2021 and 2022 could not be released earlier due to the COVID-19 crisis. However, the AGM has assured that they are committed to make sure that the audits are finalised before the members’ interest rate are declared by the VNPF Board.