Havisgai Betesai School was established by Mama Veronica, a retired Ni-Vanuatu school teacher who was frustrated by the number of children in Ohlen not attending school. When we first met Veronica in 2015, she was teaching 12 children in the back room of her shanty-style house. Sitting cross-legged on the dirt floor, the children were working on single sheets of paper ripped from an exercise book. The only resources Veronica had were a blackboard and a box of chalk.

From the day we met Veronica, we committed to supporting the school by providing teacher training, resources and funding for development. After four years of support, the school now has five ‘tin-shed’ style classrooms and between 50 – 70 children attending school each day. We provide all school stationery and teaching resources for the school, as well as offering professional development workshops and scholarships for trainee teachers. This year, Kerri has also spent 5 months volunteering as a teacher in Classes 5 and 6.

Equip Vanuatu is currently exploring the possibility of purchasing a near-by block of land and aims to start building new, cyclone-safe classrooms in July 2020. Once the new school is complete, the original ‘tin-shed’ classrooms will be used as a community hub for adult education and micro-enterprise development.

How can you get involved?

There are several ways you can support Havisgai Betesai School:

Volunteer
There are plenty of opportunities for trained teachers to work at the school, providing professional development for trainee teachers. Volunteer placements can be arranged for New Zealand and Australian School Holidays. For more information, email kerri@sailingwithpurpose.com .

Donate
Trainee teachers at Havisgai Betesai school receive a volunteer allowance of approximately NZD$50 each week, as well as having training costs covered. A small portion of this allowance is covered by school fees, but with less that 15% of students paying fees, there is always a short-fall. Equip Vanuatu picks up the balance thanks to the generosity of regular donors. If you would like to support trainee teachers by contributing to their volunteer allowance and training costs, click here to find donation details.

Resources
Currently the school is reasonably well resourced with general supplies. However, there is an ongoing need for teaching resources, specifically in the areas of health, science and geography. If you would like to donate resources to the school, or you want to make a financial contribution towards specific items, email kerri@sailingwithpurpose.com for more information.