Located in Blacksands, an informal peri-urban community just outside the municipality of Port Vila in Vanuatu, Victory School of Hope serves a very needy community. Many people have been displaced by multiple natural disasters, many being from Tanna Island.
In 2012, Victory Port Vila opened a school in Blacksands to address the need for education in the community. Previously, the school ran classes up to grade 5 but the facilities were very basic and the high temperatures and large rainfall in Vanuatu can present barriers to learning. The structures were highly vulnerable to cyclones and storms and Vanuatu is known as one of the world’s riskiest nations for natural disasters (according to the World Risk Report 2015).
Working with the local community, our goal is to provide facilities for children in the Blacksands community to access education and climb out of the cycle of poverty. The school currently runs classes up to grade 5 and needs new classrooms to be able to offer up to grade 12. working with the local community, our aim is to build 14 new classrooms and 1 administration room at a rate of approximately 2 rooms per year until completion.
Why Black Sands?
Vanuatu is a nation made up of 83 tropical islands. It’s best known for its beautiful beaches and fancy resorts. In a word, it could be described as paradise.
The largest island in the chain is Port Vila and tourism is the main industry. But move back behind the hotels and the restaurants and you’ll find the village of Black Sands.
Black Sands will not be on any sightseeing tours. It’s a place where poverty surrounds…a place where simple shacks are made from discarded metal sheets…a place where children grow up often without education or opportunity.
Education is the foundation upon which we build our future
– Christine Gregoire
We are so proud to have partnered with local leaders to develop the Victory School of Hope, using our architecture skills to masterplan the school and design the new classrooms.
The school has approximately 190 students (80-100 families), and as of 2022, is now able to offer education to the community through to Year 10. Each new classroom/grade offered will provide the opportunity for growth by approximately 30 more students, which extends to their families and community. By the completion of the project, it would help approximately 400 students directly and 150-200 families and their whole community as a flow-on effect. Educating one child can lift the whole future of their family line out of poverty, so the real benefit of this help will likely spread further than can be quantified.
With the first three classrooms completed and open to students, several S. Group team members travelled to Vanuatu in 2018 to attend the opening ceremony, and to see firsthand the impact that this project is already having on the community. And by the end of 2022, the school hopes to have completed construction on a new "triple classroom" which will further accelerate growth potential!
With construction and therefore fundraising ongoing, we invite you to consider contributing to this life-changing project. Head through to HADA to hear more about how to partner with us on project Blacksands!