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The installation of 10 computers and a solar power system in Sola, Vanua Lavu, Vanuatu was initiated early 2013. The project is run by The Rotary Club of Winston Hills who have been busy building the school and helping with teacher training. We received various donations and had enough funds to ensure we could take a group of paying volunteers to carry out the installation.
AREP Junior Secondary School is located in the Banks Group of Islands in Northern Vanuatu and teaches some 200 students, both male and female and borders and local students. They speak both French and English as well as local dialect.
We prepared the computers at TAFE Castle Hill with the help of students and teachers. The computers are small and can operate to 95% humidity and 60⁰C. They are programmed as Windows 7 and Office 2007 with as much freeware for educational purposes as we could source. The Solar system consisted of three panels, two batteries and a donated control box. All heavy material was sent by sea freight container with the remainder taken by plane.
The team consisted of two TAFE teachers and two students as well as one Rotarian. All pay their own travel, accommodation and food.
Travel was via Air Vanuatu and although we had some 100kg of excess baggage we were not charged for it as the Vanuatu people knew we were going to help them. Installation took one day and training of teachers and students occupied the remaining six days. We attempted to connect the computers to the internet but due to very thick vegetation we were not able to complete the installation.
We stayed with the community in “reasonable” accommodation. The students really understood how well off they are in Australia but all had a very enjoyable stay with the locals. Some enjoyed the local Kava and the enthusiasm of the locals to the gift they had been given.
One of the TAFE students is preparing a video of the installation which should be available within weeks.
Following the installation we travelled to Hog Harbour on Espirito Santo to survey the next site for installation of 10 computers. A room is available and will be very suitable for an installation. The school have agreed the computer room can be used by two schools and the Community. We will be seeking assistance with this project which should occur June 2014.
We also spent time with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance in Vila who are totally supportive of these projects and will be assisting to install access to the Internet to the computers. At this stage access will be granted to the teachers and hopefully will be available by the end of August 2013.
We sincerely thank all those who have helped with this project to help the students of the South Pacific improve their ability to get employment in new technologies.
Should you require more information or a presentation please do not hesitate to ask Phill Isaacs +61 408 966 173