Tuvalu Online 7 September 2000
The TIMES (Tuvalu Inter-Island Medical and Educational Services), which was to get under way in Tuvalu this year, has been temporarily cancelled, according to Henk and Nelleke Meuzelaar, the founders of the projects.
The goal of TIMES was to help improve the medical and educational services and facilities on the Outer Islands by helping to ferry volunteer doctors, nurses and teachers - as well as by delivering equipment and supplies - with the aid of volunteer cruising vessels.
The Meuzelaars were preparing to leave Australia for Fiji, when the learned of the coup on that island. As Fiji was to be their main base of operations, the felt it would be unwise to continue the project on the planned scale. "After a few weeks of uncertainty it gradually became clear to us that it would be irresponsible to ask volunteers to travel there, especially in view of the Travel Advisory issued by the US State Department," saide Henk Meuzelaar
They had hoped to continue and visit the northern islands of Tuvalu with a smaller team of doctors and teachers, but the Tuvalu government advised against it. The exact reasons why are still unclear at this moment.
However, the Meuzelaars are still hopeful the project can be continued in the future.