In March, GVI began the construction of the new Library as part of its long term goals to improve the infrastructure, increase literacy and facilitate creative and physical development at Navunisea District School. The aim was to provide a facility which would give children access to books, educational games, music and sports equipment and artmaterials to improve their knowledge and education.
The library project would not have been possible without the generous contributions to the GVI Charitable Trust. Many of the former volunteers returned home and donated or fundraised to the GVI CT, collectively donating $15,000. It was with these funds that GVI was able to purchase the materials required and commence construction.
The library project required a large amount of timber. GVI made it a priority to use materials which were sourced locally and sustainable, rather than relying on imported materials. The team also hired a foreman and a small team of tradesman from the community, to work on specific elements of the construction and support, train and guide the volunteers. These elements were important and contributed to our goals regarding the wider community and the environment.
The library was officially opened by the Divisional Education Officer for the Central division of Fiji. The new library not only houses wonderful books and offers a secure storage space for materials, the library also acts as an additional learning space, which relieves the two large composite classes.
The completed library, filled with books and resource Literacy levels have already be estimated to have improved by nearly 30% across the whole school and international volunteers have helped foster new enthusiasm for reading, boosting the confidence of the pupils. The library showcases the fantastic range of fiction and nonfiction books available and the GVI Dawasamu team hopes it will foster a love for reading amongst the children even further.
Thank you for supporting this project.
All the best
Since GVI began work in Ratu Meli Memorial School in 2011, the kindergarten has been without a classroom and it has been one of GVI’s goals since the project began to assist the school in establishing a suitable classroom environment for the kindergarten. Recently, GVI has successfully worked with the school to establish a kindergarten classroom.
Routine is invaluable to children as it provides the opportunity to repeat, practice and improve upon an activity. Unfortunately, for the past two years, the Nacula kindergarten was held in the village hall. By facilitating the shift to a classroom at Ratu Meli Memorial School, GVI is able to provide a greater level of assistance to the pupils and teacher; therefore, having more of an impact in improving the numeracy and literacy and facilitating the creative and physical development of the 20 kindergarten students.
The education project staff discussed with the kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Lusia, how GVI could further assist in enriching the education of the twenty children who attend Nacula Kindergarten. It was decided that the provision of more volunteer time and an increase in resources would enhance the students’ development as would a more structured routine. At the start of 2014, The Ministry of Education assigned only 7 teachers to RMMS, which led to a composite class and left one empty classroom.
GVI project staff and Mrs. Lusia organized meetings with community members from the four villages on Nacula Island, the kindergarten chairman and RMMS school committee members to discuss moving the kindergarten from the village hall to the newly empty classroom at RMMS. At the final meeting, Nacula village elders granted permission for the kindergarten to relocate to RMMS. After successfully securing a space designated solely for the kindergarten , GVI’s education team set to work on developing weekly kindergarten themes such as my family, plants and transport as well as constructing a daily schedule to include arts and crafts, singing, and tooth brushing.
By facilitating the move from the village hall to Ratu Meli Memorial School, GVI has helped make a huge step forwards in improving the education standard of the kindergarten students. Having their own classroom gives the pupils a more consistent routine and allows more time for volunteer involvement. Focusing on the older students, GVI volunteers can help ensure these children are prepared for class 1, which will give them a solid base for their primary education. GVI’s education team will continue providing support to Mrs. Lusia and work towards developing the kindergarten program to promote learning by playing.
Thank you for continuing to support this project.
In our continuing efforts to support children and underprivildged schools in Fiji, GVI has recently responded to a request passed on from the Nadi Branch of The Fiji Red Cross to assist a four year old boy from Nadi who has been unable to walk since birth due to a syndromic condition.
Muhsin Shaheem, is not able to support himself and has been reliant on a basic child’s push chair/stroller. Child’s sized wheel chairs are difficult to find in Fiji and very expensive. His parents struggled to find the funding for a more suitable wheelchair so that Muhsin would be able to move around and improve his ability to support himself and eventually to help him be able to attend school.
The GVI CT has now funded, thanks to your donations and support, a wheelchair, imported from the USA, that is suitable to Muhsin’s needs and which has already drastically improved his quality of life and his parents ability to care for him.
Thank you for supporting this project and for making a difference for Mushin.
Thanks to the overwhelming support this project has received, last year we decided to test a pilot education project in a new school. After the success of the 2013 pilot project, GVI was invited by the school management of Dawasamu Secondary School to begin a full time education project there. The pilot project gave an idea of the needs of the school and the ways in which GVI could assist, but the implementation of the project full time would create several issues that would need to be dealt with to get the project up and running effectively. These were:
With these three core objectives; GVI felt that it could successfully begin a long term project at the school.
Volunteers and staff have gone to considerable lengths to engage with the teachers and committee members to make them aware of what GVI is doing at the school. This has been achieved through informal conversations between staff and volunteers (including GVI having lunch with the teachers on a daily basis) and more formally through update letters written by project staff and given to the principal and school manager.
To get the one on one program up and running, students suspected of needing extra help were given a test based on the required numeracy and literacy abilities of students as they leave primary school. Those that were not able to complete the tests or required additional helpful were shortlisted as needing one on one assistance. Then, in collaboration with the teachers, space was found in the timetable to give them one-on-one support.
Finally, to enrich the educational experience of the students, GVI set about designing posters for their classrooms on a variety of topics, repainting all the school blackboards and delivering engaging art lessons that included topics such as the water cycle, rainwater harvesting and health awareness.
As the school enters the ninth week of the school term, GVI goals for the year are on course to be met. GVI has:
From this short time at school GVI have also created new objectives such as building vegetable gardens for each form and repainting the school library. The first few months of the program have helped to define GVI’s role at the school and set the ground work for a program that will greatly impact upon the lives of children from the Dawasamu district.
This has only been possible with your support. Thank you and we look forward to talking more about Dawasamu in the future!
Navunisea School is a rural primary school located in the Dawasamu District on the eastern coast of Viti Levu. At the end of the school day the children sweep out the classrooms and the mixed rubbish is either burned or buried in the school compound.
The current waste management system was not sustainable and burning rubbish caused the emission of black smoke and the release of harmful toxins on the school grounds. However, the school does compost its organic kitchen waste or feed it to the pigs. This has been encouraged and Navunisea School staff agreed to aim for all organic waste will be disposed of in this way.
The GVI team wanted to build on the previous success it had with the primary school children’s sustainability lessons, presentations and the village clean up. We wanted a long term and sustainable waste management system, which could be managed by the school.
Teachers were introduced to the Clean School Programme during a professional development session led by the GVI Primary Education Project Leader, who discussed the opportunity to start a sustainable waste management programme in school. Staff were keen to establish the Clean School Programme, considered goals for the school to achieve and ways to monitor and sustain the new system in the long term.
To support the delivery of environmental education in school, GVI scholar Jenna delivered a two-part training session to volunteers. Firstly she introduced the volunteers to the Clean School Programme, its aims and outcomes. Then she demonstrated examples of lesson plans for music, art as well as agriculture and diversity lessons, which could be adapted across the school.
Our aim is establish the Clean School Programme for the long term and work towards a zero burning policy. Thus ensuring Navunisea School is a healthy and beautiful environment for the children of Silana to learn in.” – Eleanor Hanson, GVI Education Project Leader.
Thank you for supporting the children in our communities.
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GVI Charitable Trust Manager