Vanuatu: Kapalpal School
Type: Educational Development
Funding Need: $23,000 USD annually
A government project built the Kapalpal school on Tanna, near the village of Loanialu, in 1983 but did not pay the teacher, who quit. The Christadelphian Bethezer fund took over the school in 2009. Many parents see no value in education and consequently we charge no fees. Nevertheless since re-establishing the school it has become very popular: promised 70 students when we began in 2008, we were overrun with many more when doors opened. We had 230 students in 2014; by Feb 2015 we had 300 and after Cyclone Pam, a month later, 330. Nearly all of the additional students are for high school; with ages from 13-24. Bethezer pays for teacher’s salaries, furniture and student stationery. We don’t really have enough of anything at the moment.
Our buildings are full to overflowing. We have over 100 children in high school and some classes have over 50 students; so we are now paying assistants to help our teachers. This has really stretched our resources. Over the next few years we will build a classroom per year as we need rooms for years 10, 9, 7 and 6. We build separate rooms because less roof-area makes the buildings more cyclone resistant; and we build with earth-bags to reduce costs and match local practices. The total cost of building a room is ~$20 000 (freight is a significant proportion) and these costs will partially transfer into additional salary requirements for teachers assistants after expansion. We feel that our Father is pleased with the work that is happening at the Kapalpal Christadelphian School and the effect that it is having on the lives of the local people.
Bethezer also finances Small Business loans for brothers and sisters, since work is hard to find in Vanuatu. Bank loan interest is ~25%, micro-finance interest ~17%. We offer interest-free loans: of six granted, two have already been fully repaid. Each applicant submits their own idea for Bethezer approval. We provide a sponsor and a mentor in each case – the latter is necessary because the people are unaccustomed to handling money. Mentors stay in touch via text message. We currently have unfulfilled applications on our list for $3 000 worth of loans.
Bethezer is a small foundation and we only have a three month fundraising window when we are at home, which is also our only time to spend with our seven children and extended family. Recently Bethezer has had to rely on WCF to keep the Vanuatu projects moving forward. As a bottom line, with the loss of WCF funding, we request an annual $23 000 to run these programs.
Request authors: Bre Terry & Karen Nutter (Brisbane, Aus) & John Pople (San Francisco, USA)