Fiji’s Sote Village School Morale, Attendance Get Boost from Ongoing Volunteer Service of Study Abroad Students of GlobaLinks Learning Abroad

The hardworking hands that keep on giving

By Stacey Hartmann
GlobaLinks NewsWire Editor

Three years in, the list continues to grow: Donated books to sharpen young minds. A footpath to keep growing feet dry. Freshly painted school rooms to inspire growing imaginations. A garden of vegetables to fill hungry stomachs at lunch.

Put together, these volunteer efforts and donations over the last three years by students studying abroad in Fiji through GlobaLinks Learning Abroad continue to boost boost morale and instill positive attitudes among the children of Sote Village School, said Iliesa Bavai, head teacher of the school – officially Ratu Asaili Rokovucago Memorial School – in a letter of thanks. Sote District School was established in 1960 to cater for students within the village of Sote in the tikina of Vugalei.

Several times a year starting in 2010, GlobaLinks Learning Abroad’s Bridging Cultures Program has brought university students studying abroad in Fiji at the University of the South Pacific (USP) to the village school for service projects.

“This has been the third year of your continuous support to our school,” Bavai said, while also extending his blessings on the GlobaLinks Learning Abroad organization for all it has done.

Since 2010, student and staff group visits to the school have not only involved meeting the local residents, children, socializing and playing games, but also service efforts, including the planting a vegetable garden to supply food for the children’s lunches, painting of classrooms, the donation of 405 lbs of gently used books, and the installation of a sink for the mother’s club to wash dishes.

The assistance has helped to increase the school’s enrollment from 72 students in 2010 to 125 students this year, Bavai said.

“The absenteeism rate in the school is decreasing,” he said, “as children are enjoying coming to school daily as a result of the improvement in the school infrastructure.”



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