As a new school year approaches, Ratu Meli Memorial School faces tougher preparations than normal. December’s cyclone has added considerably to the work required by teachers and GVI volunteers to get the school ready.
The boys’ dormitory is missing a roof and the school hall has lost a wall. Of course, when seen for the first time this can seem quite shocking but the government has begun the process of sending supplies and workers to the island to fix the damage. Given our involvement in the school we will also help with the reconstruction wherever we can. On Thursday, the construction team and I will return to the school to finish the clean-up of classrooms and fix the school’s water systems.
Our biggest disappointment must be our loss of books. Over the period of GVI’s involvement with the school, a steady stream of books has been filling out the school library. This has meant that students have had a huge selection of books to enjoy and GVI’s reading club has been a great success. Many of these are now water damaged and will not be salvageable.
However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. On Tuesday, Australian Aid paid a much welcomed visit to the school to inform us that the school would be receiving a very generous sum to help with getting the children’s school back on track. This was of course great news and we would all like to thank Australian Aid for their contribution.
So as we look ahead to the new school year challenges remain. However, with the same team ethos that has seen Ratu Meli Memorial School go from strength to strength, we will make 2013 another fantastic year.