Vanuatu

Vanuatu flag

Projects in Vanuatu

Education

Project Rationale

Literacy is a fundamental skill recognized by the Vanuatu Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) since 1990. An individual’s and community’s increased level of literacy can have a positive economic impact. The literacy project in Vanuatu aims to contribute to an inclusive, equitable and quality education system upholding MoET (Acess, Quality & Management) goals. Leftemap Litrisi refers to augmenting the literacy programming that already exists in the nation. Literacy programs must support the development of resources and capacity building of teachers and communities. Volunteers can guide and support students learning, assist in the development of teaching and learning materials and resources and increase knowledge and application of effective techniques and methods. Volunteers can engage parents and community members in educational opportunitites that are evidence based, supportive and inclusive.

Project Goal

Students attain and improve basic and transferable English literacy skills

Project Objectives:

Teachers:

1. Enhance the capacity of teachers in general and literacy teaching practices.

2. Increase the capacity of teachers to use inclusive practices in the classroom.

Students:

3. Increase students' foundational literacy skills.

Learning Environment and Families and Caregivers

4. Increase the ability of families, caregivers and community groups to support students' access to learning.

5. Increase students' and teachers' access to teaching/learning materials and resources to support literacy development.


Health

Project Rationale

The island nation of Vanuatu faces many unique health challenges with a young, growing population spread across many islands. The health system in Vanuatu struggles to provide access to health services in the remote rural communities. Vanuatu’s Ministry of Health aims to expand access to health services through a national community health system at the village level, where Community Health Assistants provide basic health education and medications and make referrals for care as needed.

Access to sanitation facilities, safe water treatment and storage and hygiene practices are key areas where Peace Corps Volunteers can contribute in Vanuatu. Only 50.8% of households in Vanuatu have access to improved sanitation (DHS, 2013)[1]. While access to an improved water source is 91%, storage and treatment of that water is still a challenge, with only 22.8% of household using an appropriate water treatment method. Where this is access, many community members still don’t maintain optimal hygiene practices for themselves or their children, resulting in relatively high diarrhea rates for young children compared to the region (10%). Another key health challenge in Vanuatu is the dual burden of nutrition, with both undernutrition and obesity on the rise. 28.5% of children under five are stunted, while at the same time 49% of women and 35.8% of men are overweight or obese. Many people lack the knowledge and skills to maintain a healthy diet for themselves and their young children.

Peace Corps Volunteers in Vanuatu are uniquely placed in positions where they are trained and skilled to ensure services are reaching the most vulnerable and that messages are being disseminated at the local levels and understood. In working closely with Community Health Assistants at the very lowest level of the health system, Peace Corps Volunteers can provide behavior change education to households in their communities, while building the capacity of their counterpart to promote sustained health practices related to water, sanitation, hygiene and nutrition. In addition to strengthening the CHA’s health promotion programming, they can work with Health Committees to mobilize community members and enhance their project management skills.

Project Goal:

Communities in Vanuatu lead healthier lives through improved water, sanitation, hygiene and nutrition practices.

Project Objectives:

  1. Increase knowledge and skills of family members to improve their water, sanitation, hygiene and nutrition practices.
  2. Reduce barriers to healthy WASH and nutrition practices through increasing access to clean water and improved sanitation and hygiene facilities.
  3. Improve community health workers’ skills to deliver health education and behavior change messages
  4. Activate and strengthen the capacity of health and/or water committees to support health activities in their community.