In Vanuatu many children do not get to go to school at all or only for a few years. This is not different in our valley outside Port Vila town. Our area is seeing an influx in people moving here from other parts of the country and there are no schools anywhere near. The nearest village primary school is over an hour walk away and the schools in town often do not accept children from outside town saying that their classes are full already with children from town.
Over the years parents have approached us about the need for a school in the area and we have responded to this need, recognizing the great opportunity we have to influence these little ones over many years. In January 2014 we opened our kindergarten which now has around twenty children attending regularly.
All but one student are in their first year of kindergarten and will continue with their second year in 2016. At the same time we will have a new intake for first year kindergarten and will run two kindy classes parallel in the new school building.
In 2017 our first class will reach grade/year 1 which gives us another 1 ½ to get ready to start primary school. From then on we will have to add another grade every year, meaning another classroom and another teacher a year. Starting a kindergarten we knew that we will have to grow as a school together with that first class as these children do not have any other school to go to. Once we said yes to them, we knew we will have to carry them through to the end of primary school.
We have embarked on a great adventure with this school and only God can give us success in it. We will need many more teachers and other school staff to join us, both from overseas and from Vanuatu, we will need many building teams to come and help us build classrooms every year and we will need to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If school education for underprivileged children in a developing nation is what’s on your heart, ICS Vanuatu could be a great place for you to get involved with.