Posted October 6th
As we mentioned last time, the Ministry of Education gave us a list of 24 cyclone-damaged schools in 3 of Fiji’s outer islands, the first of which was Koro. We just came back from a one-week trip there & are happy to share the story, along with some of the photos, (many more photos on our
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/peterandsusan.kingston)
Goundar shipping kindly donated our tickets to go there, along with transportation of the 26 boxes of library books that we were bringing for all the 8 schools on the island.
Koro island has about 5000 inhabitants & dirt roads connect the various villages. Cyclone Winston did tremendous damage to the island & even now, 6 months later, many houses are still lacking walls & roofs! There are plenty of households that are living under tarpaulins or in tents.
All the schools we visited were about half or three quarters damaged, with most classes now taking place in large tents donated by Unicef.
We gave 3 boxes of Australian library books to each primary school & 5 boxes to the (only) secondary school. They were received with great joy as the cyclone swept away just about everything, either by the strong winds or in the powerful waves that followed.
We’re thankful to the Eastern Education Office in Suva, as they were extremely helpful in organizing diesel trucks to take us from one village to the next, along with all the boxes of books. They also helped organize our stay with the head teachers of some of the schools we went to.
To be continued…..