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Vanuatu: Literacy program update

June 2017

This is the story of one inspirational man, tirelessly working to teach others the vital skill of literacy. He is part of a growing network of adult literacy teachers throughout Vanuatu, supported by the Anglican Church of Vanuatu and ABM.


The joy and struggles of Job

Job with some of his students in Wasaga
Job (far right) with some of his students in Wasaga. © ACOM 2017.
Used with permission.

My name is Job. I am 36 years old and live in Wasaga on West Vanua Lava Island. I have been teaching the Language Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) program for more than five years, two of which have been through the Anglican Church of Melanesia Vanuatu (ACOMV). I have had 14 students for five years, and there are several advanced learners that I am pleased to be moving to higher levels.

This year has been the most challenging, however. Our community primary school was closed, because it did not meet the Vanuatu government standards needed for children’s education, and no other school was set up.

Parents soon began seeking to enroll their children in my classes. As an LLN volunteer and a parent, I felt for the 31 children who did not have the chance to attend school. So I sought advice from the Anglican Church of Melanesia program coordinators, and they are working to provide support for me in teaching everyone who wants to learn.

In the meantime, I was teaching 6 hours a day for 5 days a week to ensure the 31 children and 14 adults can continue their education. 

The LLN program coordinators and the Diocese of Banks and Torres Education Secretary were able to establish links with another primary school on the island, and arranged to transfer advanced students to their school. It was agreed by the principal, so five students began to attend there in March. The children have to walk one hour and 30 minutes each way to attend class. But the other 26 students still remain in my LLN class.

Job teaching his class
Job teaching his class. © ACOM 2017. Used with permission.

Sometimes I felt I should quit the LLN program, because there is not much support from the community. With illiteracy common amongst adults here, it’s often difficult for them to understand the importance of this skill.

But then I always feel for the children and their future, because I have experienced what life can be like with literacy and numeracy skills. I also really enjoy the opportunities the LLN program gives me to learn about other issues, such as Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction and Disability Inclusion, and how we can address these in our communities.  

I must acknowledge the ACOMV program staff for making their efforts to keep me there with these learners. Everyone is having hard times, but they are doing their very best to help us in very remote areas.


(The ACOMV Literacy program coordinators are currently working with the Diocese of Banks and Torres and the Wasaga community to raise funds, enabling Job to receive a small allowance for his work.) 


ABM would like to thank Job and the ACOMV staff for all their selfless work in bringing literacy to remote communities in Vanuatu. Your work is not in vain, and we will continue to support you in prayer and giving to ensure the greatest success possible.


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