Kids sell all their toys to help pay for Vanuatu trip

A Christchurch family is preparing for an unusual adventure.

The Smith family from Hillsborough will fly to Vanuatu next month where they will volunteer at a family medical centre.

Sarah and Kieran Smith are both nurses at Christchurch Hospital. They have taken unpaid leave from their jobs, and plan to use their medical knowledge to help people in need.

Their three young daughters India, Florence and Gracie will join them on the six-week mission and help local residents with tasks around their homes.

Kieran said he and his wife have always had an interest in doing volunteer work overseas.

"It's just really planned out for us to get to go to Vanuatu and work in the medical clinic there in a voluntary capacity." 

The Smith family ran a toy sale fundraiser. Photo: Supplied
The Smith family ran a toy sale fundraiser. Photo: Supplied
They will be based at the Family Care Centre, which was set up by Christian-based organisation Marine Reach.

It is located in the Teouma Valley in Vanuatu and provides medical and dental care, along with community and personal development.

The Smith family chose Vanuatu because it is a neighbouring Pacific country.

Kieran hopes the island experience will teach the family some life lessons.

"We're very thankful for what we have in life, and we realise that we take it for granted, sometimes us as well as the kids.

"So we're really keen for them to go and just see a different way of life."

Eldest Daughter India Smith is excited to meet other children and make some friends from a different country.

"We're going to visit the school and in our classrooms we're starting a collection of school supplies." 

The Christchurch family has been fundraising for their mission since the start of the year through quiz nights, various sales, and a Givealittle page.

The kids sold their toys and cold drinks to runners and walkers on Rapaki Track.

The funds raised will go towards their accommodation, flights, food and any other expenses along the way. 

Kieran estimates the trip will cost $11,000 but the family plans to donate any money raised over $6000 to the medical centre.

They will head off to the Pacific island nation in mid April. 

- By Emily O'Hagan, made with the support of NZ On Air