The following plea is from my wife:
While in Fiji, we enjoyed a visit with the students and teachers at the primary school in the village of Tiliva on the island of Kadavu. The students entertained us by signing songs, and the parents Bokelman entertained them by making balloon animals (in between frightening them by loudly popping about a dozen). The school building has four rooms for grades first through eighth and serves about 120 students if I remember correctly. Students from outside the village spend the week boarded at the school. From the posted schedule it appears that they devote the entire week, evenings included, to their studies. The local guide said that while it is a public school, government support does not quite reach the smaller islands, and families are required to pay some form of tuition. While the students are polite, well-mannered, and seemingly eager to learn, their supplies and resources are slim--which is particularly sad to those of us who work in education and are familiar with the educational interest and devotion of most American students.
We'll be sending some supplies to the school, and we invite you to help us. You can send money to me via PayPal (hbokelman at gmail.com) or to 125 Oregon Road, Cedar Falls, IA 50613. I plan on sending a donation in addition to basic, consumable supplies like pencils and crayons as well as teaching materials that the teachers can use for the long term. Our travel books said that the Fijian people were the most hospitable people you'd likely find in the South Pacific, and our hosts proved that true. Please help if you can, and thank you!