Helping young people learn new skills

Members of the community outside the new Rural Training Centre. The community made a financial contribution as well as providing labour towards the construction process.

The new Rural Training Centre building in Atabulu village, Northern Pentecost, has just been completed with help from Oxfam New Zealand. It’s the first one built of permanent materials…something the community is very excited about.

Oxfam is working on the RTC programme with the Vanuatu Rural Development Training Centres Association (VRDTCA) and the local community, helping young people in particular to learn new and practical skills.

“There are a lot of young people dropping out of school every year. Exams are held after years 8, 10, 12 and 13. Anyone failing these exams can’t continue their secondary education. There are around 6,500 students affected every year. What do these young people do? The RTC’s focus on young people in rural areas and provide them with the opportunity to learn new skills in a rural setting. Skills that they can then apply in their own village,” explains Kathy Solomon, Director of VRDTCA.

The Atabulu RTC holds courses in home care, mechanics, rural enterprise and agriculture and has around 35 students in any one year.

The new facility also has a 5000 gallon water tank for collecting rainwater off the classroom roof. The water is an important aspect to this project because the community can also use the water when they really need it.

The building will also be a shelter during cyclones because homes in the community are not made of strong materials.

Joint effort

The community made a financial contribution as well as providing labour towards the construction process. It has been a real joint effort which the community is proud of.

“The building will help the community host many activities – training, community meetings. It will help the RTC to host good training in a quality environment. The enrollment at RTC’s has increased this year as buildings like this are constructed in rural communities with Oxfam’s support”, said Howard Tambe, the RTC Committee Chairman.

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