Wednesday, March 12, 2014

VIT Hospitality School Humanitarian Service Project

      One of the things that we do is work at building good relations between schools and the church.  We visit the schools and get to know the officials.  We are concerned about good feelings with everyone.  Of course, we want our students to get into the right school for them.  Each one has different goals or ambitions. We have explained before that there are not enough schools for everyone.  So - locating a place within the desired school is a great concern.
      Tourism is the number one industry in Vanuatu.  Last week the newspaper had an article about just that.  It said that by 2016 there will be one million visitors in Vanuatu each year.  Consequently, the Hospitality and Tourism School is highly requested.  We know many of the people there.  We proposed a humanitarian project to assist the school.  We met with the school director and his boss, the Principal of the Vanuatu Institute of Technology.

      We brainstormed together over several sessions.  We finally concluded that the school really needed to update the computer capabilities for the students and the staff..  Of course any humanitarian project must have a service component as well.  We agreed to provide two desktop computers, six laptop computers, and three printers.  Along with this our YSA kids would spend a day working with those at the school cleaning up the grounds, repairing whiteboards, and painting the classrooms.  In addition we would jointly build some shade huts on the grounds of the school.  There has been no place for the students to study or eat lunch out of the sun.
      The benefit for our members has been great.  Of course, the humanitarian service was not directly linked to any rewards on our part.  However, the school saw fit to save some positions at the school for our members.  Originally this was to be four positions.  The number grew to seven during the selection process.  There are well over 500 applications each year for the 100 positions available at the school.  Then the first week of class there were three more positions available to be filled immediately.  They called us and said if we could get three more applications to them that day, they were ours.  We really scrambled.  By 4 PM we had six more applications.  They selected three and we got them registered. 

     Here is a picture of eight of our ten students.  The front row is Fredline, Sabrina, and Netty.  The back row is Leah, Rosemary, Rosina, Dima, and Madeleine.  They are all good friends of ours now.  Please notice that the age varies greatly.  The youngest is 22 and the oldest is 51.  This is a wonderful new development in the PEF program of the church.  The age used to be restricted to those 18 to 30 years of age.  Now the ceiling is 65 years of age.  These students are studying housekeeping, restaurant service, culinary, and tourism management.  All ten of our students are attending the school on a PEF loan.  This group represents five of the branches in the Port Vila District.  Hooray!!!

      Last week we held a ceremony to present the computers to the school.  Pres. Basil, the District President, made the presentation.  The Principal of VIT accepted the gift.  The service component is to follow later this month.  Our course our students were present at the ceremony.


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