SELECTED ARTICLE
Author
lyn thomas 
Article Title
Ancient Culture And Modern Living Clash In A Death Defying Battle. 
Posted Date
5/19/2008 

Twenty-eight years after Vanuatu gained independence the leaders of the country are gearing up for the eighth national elections in September 2008. Political parties are forming, jostling for positions, distributing favours to the villages, changing alliances and seeking out new representatives from among the villagers. In this Lesser Developed Country, politics are complex.

Vanuatu struggles to break away from the traditional links between villagers, away from the wantok system, corruption and bribery. Vanuatu is reliant on the next generation – a generation of educated youth – if it is to emerge as a nation with impact in the South Pacific. On opening a new classroom in the far northern islands of the archipelago, the French Ambassador and head of the EU aid organization, Nicholas Berlanga said that a new classroom building or a new school has more to do with the future than with the present. He urged families to send children to school, for if they didn't they would be blocking the future of their children, their communities, their country. This call to the families of the northern islands is about the leadership of their country.

The current government is reliant on aid donors, charities and NGOs for the distribution of teaching materials and resources to the outer islands. In late 2007 the government admitted that its focus was on the two significantly populated islands, Efate and Espiritu Santo. The brilliant minds of the youth go untapped, untrained and under-utilized. Schooling for most of these children is to a grade 6 level, with exercise books torn apart for shared writing paper, pencils snapped into three for writing, and reading books shared. Education is not free. Families in these traditional, cashless economies pay the fees with local produce – custom giving.

Woven mats, chopped firewood, shells and pig tusks – the most valuable of all – are presented. Without support these kids will never fulfill their role in the 21st century. Their nation will blunder its way through the war between tradition and modern. The charity YouMe Support Foundation based in the capital Port Vila has used its connections with Seachange Lodge to provide support to these isolated islands. Since 2004 guests at the small resort have contributed to the boxes of educational resources sent north.

The owners, Rick and Wendy Tendys, set aside 10% of earnings to purchase items requested by the Mota Lava villagers. Now the Foundation along with winaresort.com is offering a South Pacific Tropical Boutique Resort plus six holiday apartments Seachange Lodge, in a world first. Funds will be placed in trust for the ongoing distribution of non-repayable educational grants for the kids of the northern islands. You can help these kids with the possibility of becoming the proud owner of the property in the South Pacific. These kids are the leaders that Vanuatu needs into the 21st century. These children were given the opportunity to read and write, to consider and debate, to think and reason will provide a way for the country to go forward. More and more kids across Vanuatu need the opportunity to fulfill these dreams. Vanuatu has much to look forward to in the future with an educated society. Become a ‘Friend Educating Kids through winaresort.com.

References
Dr Wendy and her husband Rick are the Founders of YouMe Support Foundation, charity and supplier of non-repayable high school education grants. Over the past four years they and their guests from Seachange Lodge have provided desperately needed teacher's resources and school supplies to remote island communities in the far north of Vanuatu. YouMe Support Foundation in partner ship with Win a Resort is giving away Seachange Lodge on the Internet. All funds are placed into a Trust Fund to provide education for children who will never go to high school without outside assistance. 
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