We are indeed indebted to VATHFF (Vodafone ATH Foundation Fiji) for approving our request and granting us $2500.00. For a school like ours this is indeed good and generous sum to assist us in our projects. The Staff, the students and the Management were all overwhelmed to receive news of this funding and the handing over of the sum, said Principal, Mr Subhash Chandra.
Vunimoli Secondary School is located in the rural farming settlement of Vunimoli, about 12 kilometres out of Labasa Town. It has a student roll of approximately 200 now, having lost over 50 students over these last two years to the Primary school to complete classes 7 and 8 there instead of the previous Forms 1-2 at our school. The school serves the educational needs of the community from the Vunimoli, Naduna, Korotari, Nagata, Saweni, Wakuru and the neighboring villages and settlements.
Majority of the students schooling here are from families with poor backgrounds, some dependent on backyard gardening, some casual labourers, cane cutters and some dependent on social welfare handouts. We are extremely honoured to be off support to a needy school like Vunimoli Secondary, said Foundation Executive, Ambalika Devi
The DEAP (Duke of Edinburgh Awards Programme) began at Vunimoli Secondary School last year (2012). The school with its teachers in charge had managed to conduct the necessary requirements of community service, cleanup campaigns and a camping exercise.
We have earmarked the following projects to be imitated with these funds. The Duke Team at the school will engage in building a new poultry shed to cater for more birds, in collaboration with the Agriculture Science Department at the school. We will also be buying and setting up at least 3 beehives for honey production and at the same time the remaining funds will be utilized to set up a small stationery shop to cater for the students’ stationery needs and also for leadership training and workshops.
All the projects will be income-generating and therefore the funds generated will be used to sustain the projects and the profits accumulated will be used to assist the poor, the needy and the disadvantaged students in meeting their school fees and other school needs. The scope and potential is quite high since the products, that is, the meat birds, the honey and the stationery can and will be sold to the community and the students in this area at very competitive prices. At the same time the students engaged in this DEAP programme will be able to carry on with some of these projects in their homes and villages with the knowledge and the expertise gained said Mr Chandra.
The potentials and scope for further sustainable projects in the near future include training students for a small barber shop, setting a nursery, and training students for areas such tailoring , shoe repairs, ‘mehndhi’ decorations , floral decorations among other skills. All these will help the students to learn skills to make a living for themselves and to support their kins and families and to serve the needs of the community and thereby alleviate poverty said Ms Devi.
We are indeed proud to be part of the DEAP programme and for the support from M.O.E, M.O.Y. and the funding from VATHFF which has given a breath of life and hope to our projects and plans said the Manager, Mr Mohammed Yasin. Similar models of DEAP can be replicated in schools in West and Central Eastern said Ms Devi.