Take It From Me: Vanuatu Christmas Project

November 18, 2012

Vanuatu Christmas Project


I just wanted to remind everybody about the Vanuatu (van-a-wa-too) Christmas Project!! This Christmas we have decided that the best way celebrate the Christmas Season is by sharing Christmas with those who might not be able to have one on their own. We have partnered with an organization called Painting For Poverty and they have set us up with an elementary school on the island of Tanna in the town of Lenakel. With your help we will be putting together school kits and hygiene kits for the children in the Lenakel Elementary School.
Now I know you will probably asking a few questions, so before I delve into a whole description of the event, I will just answer the most obvious ones in a mini  Q&A below.
Vana - wa - what? Vanuatu is a third-world country in the middle of the South Pacific, it is a group of islands kind of in between Australia and Fiji. The class we will be supporting is on the island of Tanna (the arrow is pointing to it!) 

Why did you choose Vanuatu? We chose Vanuatu because I (Rachael) was personally able to live there for about seven months a few years back and experience first hand the great need these people have for simple hygienic supplies and educational tools. I was able to teach in the Lenakel Elementary School (the one we will be sending a package too!), where I realized that the only school supplies that my class had for the year were the few I had brought with me from the States. The children there have never left my heart. 
Above are some students from the class I taught. As you can see they had no desks or even a real building, just dirt floors in a bamboo hut. Top left is a little boy named Robski, bottom right is Celsi and then Alice. The other two pictures are of the boy half, and the girl half of the class (they always insisted on sitting on opposite sides of the room!)
What does this have to do with us readers? We cannot complete this project without your help! We are reaching out to companies we have worked with and to our readers to help us reach our goal (which will be explained in detail right below this). You can help a few different ways.
  1. By first sharing this event with all your friends, your local social groups, school, church, facebook whatever. 
  2. You can donate money or supplies. We have a Donate Widget below that you can use to donate, or you can send us a cheque or supplies (just email rachael@takeitfrom-me.com for more details). Even if every reader donates only $1.00 we will be able to reach our goal. Every penny counts!! 
  3. Send us your ideas! If you want to host a fundraiser, or know someone we could contact who would be able to help, or just have a story to share that might touch and inspire our readers and others involved in the event, let us know!!

There are 72 children in the Lenakel Elementary Student, aged 5-12. We want to provide each of these children with a backpack packed with supplies for this year. We also want to provide each child with a hygiene kit. While I was teaching in Vanuatu I noticed that the class I taught had a cup in the back of the room with three toothbrushes.  The entire class shared these, each child had a different day of the week to brush their teeth. That should not be the case! Below is a list of what each kit will include.
We will be updating you weekly about the progress of this event and would love everyone to be as involved as possible! We would just like to thank you in advance for the help and support you give us, we could not do this without you!

You can donate using the widget below, if the widget is not showing up properly please visit our official Chip In web page here. If you have any trouble or would like to donate a different way please contact me at rachael@takeitfrom-me.com.

Project Updates:


  1. What a lovely project!

  2. What an amazing project. And so inspiring. We can truly make the world a better place with people like you.
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. Found your project through a teacher friend on Facebook, who served in the Peace Corps. She, too, has a tender spot for these people. On my computer screen, it was difficult to see the donate button as it was obscured. The top it was just barely visible on the sidebar framing. Hope that it isn't that way for everyone.

  4. I love this kind of Christmas project! I recommend adding a small pencil sharpener to the list of school supplies.
    I wonder if it's possible to 'Go BIG"? Build or supply tables and chairs with money beyond what is needed for the kits. If the money were available, is there somewhere on the island or nearby where those items could be purchased? mrs.lyle@shaw.ca

  5. I will definitely be bringing this up to my family. What a great project!


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