As we’ve built our business, we’ve regularly traveled to several islands in the South Pacific and personally met many of the farmers who grow the kava we sell. This personal relationship and direct communication helps us to have better quality control and selection over the kava varieties we offer compared to most other retailers. It also means our kava is much fresher! We buy direct from farmers and avoid wholesale distributors who take a large cut, as we want to put money directly back into the Pacific Island kava farmers’ hands and help their local communities to prosper and grow.
We also believe it is important to give back to these communities and help out in other ways, whenever we can. Below you will find a few projects we have participated in and some we are currently working on.
A New Medical Facility and Operating Theater in Vanuatu
The small island of Pentecost in Vanuatu is in the process of building a medical facility and operating theater to service its residents and those of surrounding islands. Currently, the only option for many of these residents is to be flown to Port Vila to have an operation, a cost almost none can afford. We make regular donations to help fund this project and are always excited when we get the chance to visit the ongoing construction.
Rebuilding after Cyclones
In May 2105 Cyclone Pam hit the Pacific Islands. It was one of the most intense tropical cyclones in the Southern Hemisphere and regarded as one of the worst natural disasters in the history of Vanuatu. Winds of 155 mph were recorded. Kalm with Kava contributed to relief efforts by donating school supplies and water filters, partnering with Water Is Life.
In February 2016, Cyclone Winston was the worst tropical storm to make landfall in Fiji. Once again, Kalm with Kava donated to relief efforts via Direct Relief who supplied 15,000lbs of emergency medical aid.
Support for Community Craftsmanship – Kava Tanoas and Bilos
In addition to locally sourcing our Pacific Island kava, we also buy handmade kava accessories directly from village communities in Fiji. These include Tanoas, Kava cups, known as bilos, & stands, and colorful muslin straining cloths used in traditional kava preparation. These are available for purchase in the Kalm with Kava shop.
Fijian Rugby Team Sponsorship
Rugby is a very popular sport in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands and this includes at the local level. Kalm with Kava was happy to step in and sponsor the village rugby team in Namoka, one of the villages in Fiji from where we buy our kava drinking accessories.