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Vanuatu:Language, Literacy and Numeracy

Chapius Literacy Class, Vanuatu. © ABM/Isabel Robinson, 2014.

Chapius Literacy Class, Vanuatu. © ABM/Isabel Robinson, 2014.

The Anglican Church of Melanesia, with support from ABM, will be expanding its Language, Literacy and Numeracy program in 2015. The Literacy Coordinator in the Diocese of Vanuatu and New Caledonia, Mrs Beverley Rihai is excited about her role in bringing literacy classes to the most rural areas of Vanuatu with the support of volunteers.

Many people in Vanuatu have missed out on formal schooling or had their schooling cut short due to family, health or financial reasons so the opportunity to learn to read and write is extraordinarily valuable. Volunteer teachers hold classes in a local hall or nakamal (traditional Vanuatu community centre), Church or school once a week.

These classes are open to any members of the community but it is the women who are more likely to attend as they are often illiterate. It is well known that the education level of parents impacts strongly on their children and many adult learners in Vanuatu envision a brighter future for their children than what they themselves have experienced.

Learning how to read and write is a step on the road to education. The literacy volunteers tell ABM – if you can do basic maths you can give correct change when selling produce; if you can read, you can learn more about the world from signs, books and newspapers.

The Vanuatu Language, Literacy and Numeracy is an exciting program bringing real change to the lives of rural people, especially women, in Vanuatu and ABM is proud to support the Anglican Church of Melanesia as it reaches out to communities.

Your support of this project will assist ABM to provide training workshops for literacy teachers, basic materials (pens, pencils, chalk, exercise books) for students and the ability for Beverley to travel to rural areas to hold teacher training workshops.

VU006EA – The Language, Literacy and Numeracy project needs $22,000 in 2015 (tax deductible)

This project receives partial funding from the Australian Government. This project receives partial funding from the Australian Government.



You can make an online donation to this project by selecting Vanuatu: Language, Literacy & Numeracy from the full project list.

Alternatively, for donations by cheque/money order (made out to the Anglican Board of Mission – Australia), telephone or email, view contact details here. Please don’t forget to include the project name and/or code with your payment details.


Project Update

Gracetella Smith (left) with students and teacher Woka Keith. ©ABM/Jess Sexton 2015
Gracetella Smith (left) with students and teacher
Woka Keith. ©ABM/Jess Sexton 2015

June 2015 – Gracetella Smith has worked as the Literacy Coordinator for the Diocese of Banks and Torres since 2010. In that time, she has established 18 classes throughout Vanua Lava, Gaua, Mota and Mota Lava. Having learnt literacy early in her life, Gracetella saw that she had a lot to offer those who weren’t so fortunate. After attending a Leadership workshop in 1997, Gracetella decided to run a leadership program with thirty local chiefs in West Vanua Lava. This lead to her consider literacy work full time, and after being approached by the Diocesan Secretary with the offer of a position, took up the post as Literacy Coordinator with the Anglican Church of Melanesia, Vanuatu.

Her role includes raising awareness about the need for literacy amongst remote communities in the Banks and Torres, the establishment of Literacy Committees, the training and support of teachers, and fund raising for the continuation of the program. 

Read more about the literacy program in Kayemback village.