It’s good to get a wake up call. On a recent family holiday to Vanuatu I was privileged enough to get to visit a local community. The first wake up call was our guide telling us that we could throw our empty soft drink cans down in the grass. I was absolutely gobsmacked. Here was I in paradise and the very people who live here telling me to litter! I explained to him that was my last book ‘The Garbage Guy’ was all about caring for the environment! There was no way that I could bring myself to chuck rubbish on the ground!
On arriving at the local school I was given my next wake up call. This school had so little and what they had was worn and damaged by the recent cyclone. The children I saw were playing happily outside during their lunch break but there were clearly few resources inside their classrooms.
“How can we help?” was my first question to Miriam, one of the teachers. “Books for the library we are trying to set up and stationery. If each child had their own pencil case then they would have the motivation to come to school. Also old clothes so they can come to learn.” I was not sure how to react to this. I felt humbled by her open admittance that even the most ordinary possessions would be a welcomed gift.
We take so much for granted here in the developed world. We can assume these basics – basics like having materials to be able to learn. Basics like having clothes so children can actually go to school. One might be deceived by the colourful display in the photo of the classroom above but if you take another look and check this second photo of the wall of the classroom you can see the state of repairs and the condition the community are working and living within. It’s not fair or right is it?
So I have made it my mission to get a crate of items together to send. I have had such great response so far from my local community and would love to hear from you if you think you can help in any way. Contact me through the website reply link below.