Hutt International Boys' School departs to Fiji
Excited about the opportunity to make a real difference to a community less fortunate than their own, a group of 15 students and three teachers departed for Fiji to begin their community service project at rural school, Namataku District School. Donating their time and energy, the team spent six days building an evacuation centre that doubled as a computer classroom and library. The completion of the building was the culmination of 16 months fundraising by the students.
The project was a big learning curve for the students, tackling the Fijian heat and working hard to meet their completion deadline. Two builders helped direct the students' work on site, offering their knowledge and expertise to ensure the finished project was robust and fit for purpose. The students enjoyed interacting with Namataku District School students during their breaks, as well as after school. Each day on their journey to and from the building site, the students stopped to hand out rugby balls, footballs and netballs purchased through their impressive fundraising efforts to local families in nearby villages.
The local students kept an eager eye on the building developments, excited to begin classes in their new classroom. The opening of the building was a real celebration, with local villagers decorating the surroundings with coloured crepe paper and balloons, and the Village Chief cutting the official ribbon across the door.
To top it all off, the students filled the new classroom with four new desktop computers, desks, chairs, a whiteboard and more. The school's Assistant Principal and Principal were overwhelmed with gratitude for the students' contribution to Namatuku District School.
"The local people get by with very few home comforts, and they reminded us about the importance of family, connections and good relationships where people are at the centre.
We all learned lots about building, working together, being community minded, accepting challenges, being out of our comfort zone, appreciating what we have and giving and contributing to make a difference. We realised our team motto which we have focused on over the past 16 months - what starts here can indeed change the world." - Service Project 2017 students, Hutt International Boys' School.