Children, Schools & Education achievements
Many children aged as young as five, have to board away from home in order to start school. Many have not been to kindergarten due to the lack of kindergartens in the villages. The result is that many children struggle to get a good start to their education and develop learning difficulties.
What are we doing to help?
The local council and provisional government have specifically requested our assistance with English language teaching, maths, sports education and arts. The long term aim is to assist with teacher education and training
Interested in volunteering to help with education at schools in the Yasawa Islands? Visit our Education Volunteering section of our website.
What have we achieved so far?
An extra special Christmas present arrived in Fiji over the 2014 holiday period. Playco Playgrounds and Makara Model School donated a playground to the children of Naviti District School and UB Freight generously transported the playground from Auckland to Fiji. It’s such a simple thing that many schools take for granted but the expense of a playground and the remoteness of Naviti District School means something like this hasn't been possible in the past. The Vinaka Fiji Volunteer Team cannot wait to construct the playground and see the smiles that it brings to the children’s faces.
STA sent a group of retail consultants and industry professionals on a 'give back' trip to Fiji. The 6 agents travelled from the UK, Australia and New Zealand. They spent the week with Vinaka Fiji donating their time to several projects including time in the classroom at the Yasawa High School and Primary School. They also showcased their creative talents by designing and creating brightly coloured murals on the local Kindergarten's walls.
Yasawa High School's senior rugby team will perform that bit better now they have brand new jerseys from International freight company Gibson Freight. The donation was a joint effort between Gibson Freight, the Ministry of Education and facilitated by Vinaka Fiji. Vinaka Fiji Operations Manager Elenoa Nimacere said corporate partnerships were an important part of Vinaka Fiji’s work.
"This rugby team has great talent and potential, having come runner up in the Western Secondary Finals, however they really are under resourced," she said. "The support from Gibson Freight is a big help to this team and we thank them for their generous support."
Children at Ratu Meli Memorial School can now get to school on a regular basis, thanks to the donation of a 40hp outboard motor by Graham Evans and his team at AMX Australia, ASCO Motors – Fiji and Westpac banking Cooperation. Previously, the children had long hikes across islands to attend school, not possible in poor weather. Now, they'll have their own water taxi 'school bus'! The children are delighted.
Vinaka Fiji participated in the Kese Kindergarten fundraiser. Over $4,000 was raised and the local children had ridiculous amounts of fun taking part in the activities on offer.
Vinaka Fiji's co-ordinator travels to the village each day during school holidays to manage new school holiday programmes. A mobile library has been developed so children can continue to read and learn outside school hours. Environmental learning is also featured in the school holiday programme where the children are taught the values of caring for their environment with planting and rubbish collection projects.
Vinaka Fiji staff and Volunteers initiated and participated in
a variety of education programs for the local Fiji community.
Teachings included marine conservation management,
rainwater harvesting solutions, resource management
education and sustainable agricultural practices. Many
Marine and Environment School Awareness Programs were
also run in schools.
Over 20,000 hours of our Volunteer’s time has been
dedicated to teaching groups or providing one to one
teaching to local learners of all ages from babies to adults.
These learning opportunities are so important for the
enthusiastic students of the Yasawas. The Yasawa High
School has gone from one of the most under performing
schools to see a pass rate of 71% in Form 7 last year.
Our daily 1-1 tutorial programme is currently supporting 21 students. Seventeen past students who initially lack confidence in reading English no longer require the tutorial lessons and are now reading at a higher level. A 'lunch box' library also allows the children another opportunity to lend books for a week and read at home.
Learners need access to good teaching resources. This year,
involved schools have received many new text books and
reading materials, art supplies and sports equipment from
generous donations around the world.
All young children learn through play. In January Volunteers
worked with the community and the local children from
Malevu to build a playground at Kese Kindergarten. The
playground provided hours of fun for the children.
We developed Mother and Baby Group which provide local
mothers with the opportunity to learn how best to assist
their children with their learning development, bond with
their babies and network with other mothers.
View our latest achievements, photos and news on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/vinakafiji