A request was received from Connie Ross via her Peace Corp friend and volunteer Nancy Willard to assist her host village on Nguna Island. Connie sent this request to SHaRM Foundation members Stu and Deb Friend hoping SHaRM was able to assist.
In mid-2016, SHaRM was responsible for a very large shipment of new school uniforms reaching some 145 schools and kindergartens sent throughout Vanuatu schools donated by a Melbourne donor PWS coordinated by SHaRM member Robin Culph. Unfortunately, Utanlang Kindergarten was not one of those supplied.
Nancy has been assisting this village since her arrival with Peace Corp and had many requests to assist the kindergarten in the village following the severe damage caused by Cyclone PAM and subsequent cyclones in 2017 Cook and Debbie.
This remote village of Utanlang is only accessible by boat access from Emua Wharf on the NW coast of Efate and takes approximately one hour by open boat in good weather to make the crossing located in the very northern tip of Nguna. The locals rely on fishing and cultivation of citrus fruit and regularly sell their citrus in Vila during the season.
The request from Nancy was to assist a young family, a solo mother with three children and two children were ready for school. Unfortunately they couldn’t afford school uniforms, books, stationery and backpacks, plus had limited casual clothing as well as pay for the tuition fees needed to commence school in Nguna.
SHaRM Foundation has been very pleased to assist coordinate all the donors in making this happen and so quickly to supply the items requested in early May 2017.
The kindergarten is a locally built island structure with iron roof and concrete floor but since the subsequent cyclones since Cyclone PAM, it is now leaking and requires some expert attention. The kindergarten only has a bush toilet with no adequate handwashing facilities. A tank provides water but there is no guttering to harvest the water run-off from the roofing iron and therefore limited water supply is available at times.
Help is Needed
Nancy’s initial request was to assist the two children of Netty. namely James and Maline. This was done in May 2017 when donors came together to support the request – Ratua Foundation (Isabelle Henon, Leah Fischer) donated two complete school backpacks complete with books, stationery and accessories via Cyrille Mainguy; SHaRM Foundation secured school uniforms (Black and white) – shorts and 2 shirts each plus under clothing ideal for Nguna schooling. A large parcel of used clothing for James and Maline was also donated by SHaRM Foundation via the Malkom Family.
We understand that the James and Maline were to commence school in the second term. As of early June, this has not yet happened. We are awaiting confirmation that James and Maline have now commenced their school lessons in the second term 2017.
Netty, Nancy and Mama with Ratua bag – plus items donated via Ratua Foundation, SHaRM Foundation, Cyrille Mainguy and the Malkom Family
Request for Further Kindergarten Assistance
Nancy has made further requests to see if SHaRM Foundation or their donor pool can assist the kindergarten further – these items :
- Kindy level reading books and readers
- Kindy story books, colouring books and puzzles
- Charts – shapes and animals
- Hand puppets
- Water play items
- Ropes for swings
- A-Z Alphabet cards
- First Aid Kit
Note: Most of these items above are on the supply list from SHaRM Foundation for September 2017 delivery. Please assist SHaRM Foundation if you have any items you would like to donate or contribute towards this project or as a volunteer.
Repairs and Maintenance to the Kindergarten
- Roofing iron required – 7m x 14m
- New toilet constructed – compositing toilet and hand washing facilities or repairs undertaken
- Guttering sufficient to catch water from roof for toilet and drinking use and to drain to tank available
Note: These items are on the donor listing and as soon as we have items available then these will be allocated to Nguna and the village of Utanlang and/or volunteers to assist with the work.
On behalf of the SHaRM Foundation team, we wish to thank the following donors for making these donations possible:
- Cyrille Mainguy for coordinating the Ratua Foundation bags for James and Maline
- Ratua Foundation (Isabelle Henon and Leah Fischer) – 2 BackPacks
- Malkom Family – donation of clothes for James and Maline
- Connie Ross
- Nancy Willard (Peace Corp)
- SHaRM Foundation
Dated : 17 June 2017
Prepared by : SHaRM Foundation Steph Neilson
Founding Member www.sharmfoundation.com