We take a very hands on and long term approach to all our community projects and believe in empowering the islanders to help themselves rather than relying solely on outside influence. Generous donations of expertise, funds and time from our guests have been vital to getting projects up and running with all donations being recorded, followed up and accounted for through a democratically elected committee made up of teachers, community members and heads of staff. We also believe it is vital to keep you in the loop after your stay with a network of Facebook pages, email updates and whatsapp groups where you can continue to assist with suggestions, comments and see what your donations have been used for.
When we first begun assisting the Kakrigu primary school there were no facilities whatsoever. Classes were being held under a tree, there were no desks, chairs or writing materials with the children writing in the dirt. What struck us most however was not these difficult conditions but the passion of the teachers and headmaster to provide the best education they could and the infectious nature of the students so eager to learn. Most of the teachers work on a voluntary basis with some university students born in the area coming back on their holidays to help with running the accounts and exam preparations etc.
From these humble beginnings the school has gone from strength to strength with brick classrooms built, toilet facilities, drama and debate clubs introduced a beautiful and thriving vegetable garden and a football pitch. For the first time Kakrigu was able to take part in the national examinations and attained the highest scores in the region, a very proud moment. The school has become an extended family and is such a lovely atmosphere to visit with such a positive community surrounding it the future looks very bright. We are currently working on revamping the cooking facilities and diversifying the gardens as much as possible to keep the diet fresh, varied and nutritious.
Our other projects include raising funds and assisting the St. Lukes clinic in Sena which is desperately underfunded and staffed and serves as a vital first response for any illnesses and medical emergencies on the island.
The Mawanga primary school was built and is run by community members largely on a volunteer basis. The school as up to 300 students at any time. Most fishermen move around the island following their catch and take their families with them so some of the children are continually changing classes which can be disruptive to their development. Mawanga is a key site for a school on the southern part of the island, the infrastructure is still very basic and our next focus will be primarily on upgrading the cooking and hygiene facilities.