VANUATU SCHOOLS ASSISTANCE PROJECT
Two Drury members, Stella and Edna-May, with friend Edith, recently spent a week in Vanuatu and between them took 60kgs of goods, including new school uniforms, assorted school stationery items, first readers and many other items.
We were made very welcome at a meeting of the Port Vila club. It is a very active club and had just recently been involved in the annual race meeting and race ball. President Mark Stafford took us to see the unpacking of one of the NZ containers on the local cricket ground, and we could see that it is a huge task to unpack and distribute the contents.
Although it was school holidays, we managed to arrange visits to two schools and to meet some of the children. One was Epao School on the other side of the island which we visited while on a round the island bus tour. We gave the children stickers and handed the teacher a large bag of goods for the school, which had lost most of its books in Cyclone Pam, and they were gratefully received. After returning to Port Vila we packed up another box for the tour operator to deliver on the next run and some other passengers on the bus did the same.
The second school we visited was with Nikita and Peter from Port Vila Kiwanis. It was not government run, but had been set up by an Australian couple, Carol and her husband, who had sold up everything in Brisbane to start this school. As well as the regular pupils there was a class for 20 disabled children who otherwise would not receive an education. Both Carol and Nikita have taken foster children into their homes, some disabled, others from difficult backgrounds and we were inspired by their dedication.
Kiwanian Peter Wilson also drove us to the new blood bank which Nikita has been involved in for two years setting it up and teaching volunteers in all aspects of the work. Port Vila Kiwanis Club has donated several items of expensive equipment for the blood bank.
Although considerable repair work has been done subsequent to Cyclone Pam, there was still much evidence of the damage: homes without roofs, huge heaps of concrete and rubble, large trees blown right over as well as many boats holed up on the rocks. Despite all this, we found the local people to be happy, smiling and welcoming.
It was a privilege to be able to see first-hand where the contents of our containers go and how deserving the people of Vanuatu are.
Two aspiring Kristin filmmakers travelled to Vanuatu in October to document the delivery of supplies to the residents of Port Vila. Nick Baughan and Ethan Bull, both in Year 10, worked with community organisation Kiwanis on this unique and exciting project.
The boys have been tasked with telling the story of Kiwanis’ work in the islands. They followed the packing of a container in New Zealand, filled with school and community supplies, and documented the delivery of the goods across a number of villages in Vanuatu. Their journey began in Auckland in September when the packing commenced and culminated in October when the donations arrived in Vanuatu. Editing the footage followed with the final version of the video due for release by the end of the year.
Selected from all Year 10 Digital Technology students at Kristin, Nick and Ethan were excited by the task. “I’m a bit scared by the prospect, but excited at the same time,” said Ethan before the programme began. “We are getting started on the planning now and we’re about to start storyboarding in class, too, so that will help us figure out how we are going to approach it.”
When the opportunity arose for two students to take part in this project, Digital Technologies teacher Mr Doug De Kock did not tell his students straight away. “The Year 10 classes had been working in pairs to recreate advertisements using common film techniques. I decided to make a shortlist of the best work and present it to a selection panel from Kristin and Kiwanis. Ultimately, it was a unanimous decision that Nick and Ethan were the two for the job.”
“We were pretty happy with our assignment,” says Nick, “but there was still stuff in there that could have been better. It came down to time constraints.” This was also the case in Vanuatu with only five days to complete the filming. There was a lot of planning involved as well as on-the-spot interviews and filming to capture the reactions of the people they met.
Both boys have experience with media production having spent time in Kristin’s Canon Cloud Suite – a purpose designed facility that features a 6-metre green screen, state-of-the-art equipment and editing tools – over the past 18 months. “It is a really cool facility and we are very lucky to have something of this calibre,” says Nick, who is looking forward to working with the Canon XF205 camera for this project.