In March 2015, ACCI Relief launched a Humanitarian Relief appeal to provide immediate assistance and recovery assistance to affected communities. One of the projects we were able to assist with was the repair and re-building of Green Hill Primary School.
Headmaster Joseph Kalo and his teaching staff, kept their school open following Cyclone Pam in difficult circumstances. They continued the school year with kindy classes in two small UNICEF tents and classes 1 through 6 meeting under plastic tarpaulins. Very little furniture was recovered after the cyclone to furnish the classes and many children sat on the ground. School ended successfully with regular government end-of-year exams and a school picnic.
It took many weeks to transport all of the building materials to the worksite. Green Hill is about a 45 minute drive off the main Teouma road. The drought conditions greatly improved the condition of the bush road to Green Hill but most Port Vila businesses would not deliver building materials there. Especially difficult was getting the sand and coral delivered to the school site. Local transport drivers were hired and took most of the materials up in Toyota Hilux trucks. This required additional trips but everything was safely delivered and stored in two sheds built for this purpose. One of the adverse effects of the current drought was the lack of water for the cement work. In normal times, this community depends solely on rainwater. Construction was delayed while drums and various containers were collected and filled with water.
The Green Hill community leaders and parents have rallied around the Green Hill School Board to fundraise in order to purchase a few tools, fuel to run a generator for the cement mixer and contribute to the overall school reconstruction. Five construction workers from Port Vila are living on site from Mon- day to Friday and are being hosted by the community for lodging and meals. Community volunteers come regularly to add their manpower to the nine man construction crew on site. Headmaster Joseph Kalo and Pastor Charley Job have been invaluable in mobilizing support and awareness of the project.
Construction started on November 23, 2015. The cement slab was partially poured on December 2, but all the collected water was used by midday. Again the community rallied and people went to a nearby lake and collected water in containers and transported it back so the workers could keep making cement. Twenty liter containers were purchased for lake water collection and the pouring of the slab continued the following day. Construction will continue until December 23, when everyone will take off for Christmas break.
Thank you to our ACCIR partners for the finances to rebuild this three classroom building for the Green Hill Primary School. This project has boosted the morale of this struggling rural farming community. Cyclone Pam left everyone in the Teouma hills with damaged huts and crops. The drought has further delayed vegetable harvests and income has been lost for these families but the rebuilding of the school facilities has brought much hope to them.
Thank you so very much for helping the people of Green Hill, Teouma Bush.
Green Hill Students in a temporary classroom - April 2015
Pastor and Mrs Charley Job. Shed rebuilt with the salvaged materials from the destroyed school.
Green Hill Primary teachers and students - May 2015