A brand new kindergarten for Dora and her classmates

A brand new kindergarten for Dora and her classmates

Two years after the devastating category five Cyclone Pam struck the archipelago of Vanuatu, its footprint in some areas is still visible including large flattened trees, damaged buildings and partly submerged boats.
But in a small village located in the north of Efate, a forty-five minute drive from Vanuatu’s capital Port Vila, World Vision built a cyclone-resistant kindergarten to replace the one destroyed by Cyclone Pam. The building is also designed to be used as an evacuation centre where families can shelter safely in the event of future cyclones.
Joe Siri, the kindergarten chairman of almost three years, said the new building is like a dream come true. “Before Cyclone Pam, the kindergarten walls were made of bamboo with iron sheets for the roof. It was totally destroyed by Pam. The iron sheets were smashed against big trees kilometres away.”
After Cyclone Pam, kindergarten teacher, Madeleine Jack, had to teach the children in a tent for almost a year. When discussions began between community leaders to build a new building, she stood with her committee to work closely with the World Vision team. A new kindergarten was built, complete with sanitation facilities.

Pictured: Kindergarten teacher, Braylyne Thomas, 20, reading a story to Dorah and her classmates.
Today, a new kindergarten teacher, Brailyne Thomas, enjoys working in the new building, “the building is strong and I am happy to teach in a good environment with proper sanitation facilities,” she says.

For parents like Sera Stevens, whose five-year-old daughter Dora attends the kindergarten, it’s hard to forget the night Cyclone Pam struck.

“I was holding my two daughters inside our house so worried about what we would do if the roof blew off since there was no evacuation centre in the village, but today if such a situation happened again we could shelter in the kindergarten building,” Sera says.

Today Dora happily attends the new kindergarten. She loves to colour, write numbers and learn to read, “I love to come to school,” she shares.