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Social Media Paying It Forward In Vanuatu

Some people ask me why I bother with Facebook and Blogging for Lav Kokonas  – who’s going to see it anyway;  and sometimes I wonder that too, until something special happens!

On my June visit to Vanuatu I was told of a Christchurch based family who were re-homing educational equipment to Santo and outer islands of Vanuatu.  I was keen to meet this family, so upon returning to New Zealand, I went about trying to track down the family, but I had no luck.  A couple of months later, a message arrived on our website, via one of my blogs about the donation of mathematics text books for Colleges in Vanuatu which I had organised.  This was my introduction to “that” Christchurch family, namely Sue.

The first phone call Sue and I had was rather long, as you can imagine – two liked-minded people with a passion to assist rural communities in Vanuatu.   As you would expect, we knew a lot of the same people in Vanuatu – our feet had walked in many of the same circles!  I soon discovered  that Pacific Pathways have a similar ethos to that of Lav Kokonas – redistributing unused items from New Zealand to Vanuatu, where the goods are welcomed with open arms.  Pacific Pathways are still developing their website, so I’ve included below, detail of their vision for providing educational resources in Vanuatu.

Shipoping Container for Vanuatu
Pacific Pathways with a 20 foot shipping container full of donated educational equipment

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PACIFIC PATHWAYS

Our Mission:   Empowering education in Pacific nations through the provision of education resources and support from New Zealand schools, businesses and organisations

 Purpose :  Pacific Pathways believes that all children, regardless of their circumstances deserve access to a quality education so they can realise their full potential.

By developing partnerships with schools, kindergartens, businesses and organisations in New Zealand we will provide resources and support for the Pacific Nations, to make a difference for those on the path less travelled.

 Our focus is currently, schools in Vanuatu

The seed of this idea was planted after we had spent six months on Aore Island in Vanuatu helping to build a school. This experience made us realise some of the issues the children in Vanuatu are faced with – access to schools in the remote areas and also the lack of school resources in the schools and kindergartens.

We have just returned from delivering our first consignment of resources to Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu. This consignment was made up of 355 desks and chairs, over 200 banana boxes of children’s reading books. The resources were distributed between schools and kindergartens in the Sanma Province, with a focus on schools in remote locations.

With these resources, more children could now attend the schools and kindergartens from the surrounding villages.

The resources were donated by schools, libraries, businesses and members of the public in Christchurch.

It is humbling to be able to make a difference by relocating resources no longer required in New Zealand and giving them a renewed purpose, helping the schools and the children on the path less travelled.

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Desks and chairs ready for collection in New Zealand
Pacific Pathways re-homing donated educational equipment

Since our “connection”, Lav Kokonas have received another enquiry off the Mathematics Blog – a publisher who has a large donation of mathematics books that need re-homing.  I was able to match those surplus text books with Pacific Pathways, who are organising for this enormous donation to be forwarded to Vanuatu.   The power of blogging and social media, connecting people.

Please take a look at the Pacific Pathways Facebook page and follow the progress of the enthusiasm that is abundant in this organisation.

Education in Vanuatu is enhanced with the donation of these desks and chairs from New Zealand
Pacific Pathways re-homing donated educational equipment at home in Vanuatu

 

 

 

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