Monday, November 24, 2014

Jump Start Foundation and Vanuatu, a special love affair

Melissa's Story of Support (by Melissa Fairbairn): This is Caroline (and I), a teacher at Epau primary school, Efate Island Vanuatu who was delighted to receive an assortment of teaching aids included in the education packs taken over to Vanuatu by Jump Start Foundation (JSF) group of volunteers who travelled there in July 2014. I was delighted to have the job of sourcing the supplies to be included in the education packs that we gave to the students at Epau and the teaching aids. Each child received a bag containing stationery such as pencils, exercise books, scissors and many other items. The Education packs also included two literacy activity books and a dictionary for each child. 
JSF could not have assembled such a wide range of literacy materials for the children and teachers at Epau school without the generosity of all those who sponsored our education pack drive campaign.

Thank you all so much for your education pack donations. It is hard to imagine how much the supplies are appreciated by the children and teachers.

We were overwhelmed by the kindness, cooperation, support and generosity of the companies that we worked with to put the supplies together. They gave us discounts, worked hard to give us the best possible prices (enabling us to purchase all the stationary for $5 less for each child than previously, saving $500 that we could allocate to more teaching aids and activity books), delivered on time, and provided an assortment of extra items at no charge.

I would particularly like to thank Ken Hill at Office Products Depot and Elizabeth Lamb at the Stationery Shop for their time, enthusiasm, cooperation and generosity. They have both expressed interest in working with JSF in future years to put together these comprehensive literacy supplies for our Jump Start Foundation Literacy Improvement Program.

JSF could not have managed without the JSF Supporters who turned up the Sunday before the group left for Vanuatu to put together the packs, box them for transport to Vanuatu. We assembled one hundred Literacy Packs, one hundred and sixty gift packs for the Library opening at ICPS on Tanna Island and grouped and packed all the different teaching aids. It was a busy, productive, cooperative, exhausting and fun afternoon.

Air Vanuatu was generous, as always, in providing extra free weight allowance so we could include the literacy supplies as part of our luggage weight.

The ultimate joy was that of handing the literacy packs directly to the children at Epau primary school and seeing their beautiful faces light up. We had the honour of watching them search through their literacy packs and their eyes growing bigger as they realised what they had been given. Pens, pencils and supplies for them to use and benefit from in their ongoing studies. It was a heartwarming and exceptional experience personally handing the children their literacy packs.

Knowing that there is no intermediary between JSF and the children means that no money is wasted from donations.

The chance to source the stationary and teaching aids, and be a member of the JSF Island Run and Philanthropy trip in 2014 was a joy and an experience I will never forget.

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