Thursday, 16 January 2014

Kapalpal Christadelphian School, Vanuatu

Where’s Vanuatu?  These picturesque islands are in the South Pacific, about 1,500 miles from Australia. This beautiful archipelago is not only noteworthy because of its stunning landscape, but also because of the spiritual inroads that have been made to spread the Good News.

The Kapalpal Christadelphian School is located on the island of Tanna  in Vanuatu.
The school opened its doors in 2009 and was begun in support of a brother who was volunteer teaching. The school, originally built to accommodate 70 children, was soon overburdened with 200 students!
A second building was added in 2010 and this year, a junior secondary school has been established. The extra classes for high school have meant that space has again become a major issue.

Thanks to volunteer workers and funding supplied by WCF, this summer a new building was constructed of earth-bags and timber. The students in the high school range in age from 12-20. Such an age range is not unusual in Vanuatu, where non-compulsory education can be interrupted for many reasons. The school follows the curriculum provided by the Vanuatu education department. Since Kapalpal is considered by the authorities to be a 'mission' school, the brethren have the freedom to teach the Good New of the Scriptures.
In the primary school, Sunday School lessons are also taught and a Bible camp is held annually.
The new building is made in good part of earth bags – synthetic bags filled with dirt. The upper half of the building is made of timber and is covered by an iron roof. Because the cost of getting materials to the island is high it was decided to employ local materials—bags of dirt and timber. Not only did this reduce building costs, but it was also a design that the local community could afford and replicate. The bags of earth would also in turn provide better protection from the cold, wind and rain compared to thatch and bamboo. It is anticipated that if built well, the earth bag homes should last much longer than those made of traditional materials. This project was facilitated by a grant of $20,000 from WCF.

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