Tuvalu News

Survivor Club brings together smaller Pacific Island nations

June 10, 2008

Usually, each club at BYU-Hawaii has just one president who works with a committee to keep the club going. However, for the newly created Survivor Club, many presidents plan to work together as one team.

Toa Sailusi, junior in IBM from Tuvalu, is the student and mastermind who created and launched the club. He explained that the purpose of the club is to reach out to minority Pacific nations including Tuvalu, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Palau and the Marshall Islands.

Because there are few students who represent these nations at BYUH, the Survivor Club will allow for those interested to get to know these cultures.

“I know that the mission of this school is to provide opportunities and leaders who will work together in building up the church in the Pacific,” said Sailusi. “I believe that working together with students from these tiny islands will allow us to build a good relationship of trust and unity as sons and daughters of God,” he continued.

Galivaka Niko, junior in IS also from Tuvalu, said, “The most unique thing about this club is that most of the students are from small countries which most of the students at BYU-Hawaii haven’t heard of.”

Sailusi said, “There are many names that came to my mind, but the word survivor goes along with the idea of tiny islands or cultures coming together in unity to share their cultures with the many cultures and students on this campus. There are 61 members in the club and the presidency hopes that we will reach out to many others out there who never heard of the Survivor Club.”

He also said some of the presidents of the club are students from the U.S. mainland who he believes will be able to assist students from small islands in solving important issues that they may face in the future.

“This club rocks because all the islands are sinking,” said Emily Judson, sophomore in TESOL education from Utah, referring to the rising sea level that has threatened several Pacific islands recently. She joined the Survivor Club because her roommate who’s from one of the small islands invited her to join.

Cooking lessons is one of the activities that the Survivor Club plans to use to help BYUH students learn more about their countries.
This map shows the area of the ocean where the nations are located.

“There are many things that we plan to demonstrate, such as how islanders cook food in a ‘imu,’ and fishing, farming, and how to improve writing skills.” said Sailusi.

Niko said that as a club member she wants to invite others to come to activities that have been planned so that each member can learn from one other and learn more about the minority islands.

“The Survivor Club believes that we are all survivors, as students we face many challenges that sometimes we think we can’t overcome. Therefore, the purpose of the Survivor Club is to remind us that we can overcome all these things if we work together as a team, not teams. We believe that when we really see the vision of President McKay we will see that we must be united as sons and daughters of God,” explained Sailusi.

Source: BYUH, Hawaii


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