It took me a while, but as reported earlier, eventually all the maths text books (100kg or thereabouts) got to their intended destinations in 2014. The bulk of the texts went to the northern island of Santo, into the beautiful setting that is Matevulu Colege – sitting high on a hill overlooking the picturesque, east coast of that island – so popular with tourists. We are grateful to those ni Vanuatu that assisted us in getting the books to the right schools; including Onesua High School on Efate and a small amount to both Eule Junior High School and Epi High School.
Sadly of course, 13 March saw a major weather occurrence that has decimated many homes, schools, businesses, crops and almost anything you can imagine, across around 22 of the islands in Vanuatu. School resources have been depleted on many islands including Epi and the eastern coastline of Efate where both Eule and Onesua Colleges are located. When visting Onesua College in 2014, I thought what an idyllic setting for a boarding school – not far from the sea – looking out across the water at the small islands of Emae, Nguna and Pele – where our family had enjoyed a restful holiday the previous year. That coastline has changed dramatically now; look at the photo below, showing just how battered the shoreline is now that Pam has visited.
It was a Sunday when we travelled around Efate dropping of food & water supplies to families that we knew that had been greatly affected by the cyclone but it wasn’t until we reached the top of Efate it really did become evident as to the extent of the damage that was suffered in Vanuatu. As a day of rest, many locals in the numerous villages around that part of the island, were sitting outside (it was a beautiful day) with little or no shelter – the trees had been stripped bare so there wasn’t the usual natural shade to shelter under. Despite this people would wave out to us and smile as we drove by. I knew that there were a lot of people – individuals and organised groups who were embarking on similar “food drops” as we were, and although my heart went out to so many of the villages we saw, reality dictated that there were only a few villages that we could assist.
Resources, both large and small, for many schools across Vanuatu will be desperately needing re-stocking. If there are projects that we can encourage you to participate in, we’ll let you know. Lav Kokonas have linked up with a variety of Non Government Organisations who are doing wondrous works to help re-stock many schools in Vanuatu. Good news too that some of our customers have taken on board the need and taken donations of school equipment (amongst other things) on their holidays to Vanuatu.
No matter how small you may think your donation is, it will be well received.