The 2018 AMS Christmas Appeal will this year feature 4 projects from the Pacific Island region. Please join with us to support these projects.
Young people with learning difficulties, physical disability or socio-economic disadvantage tend to drop out of school early. The same is true in Fiji, a nation of approximately 300 islands in the South Pacific Ocean, where there has been a recent rise in the number of students who fail to complete a basic level of education.
In 2000 the Marist Brothers in Fiji opened a multicultural and co-educational school for post primary students with learning difficulties and special needs, the only one of its kind to be registered with the Ministry of Education. With a current enrolment of 118, the Marist Champagnat Institute (MCI) offers programs to young people who have struggled to fit into mainstream schooling. An initial two-year course focuses on literacy, numeracy and building self-confidence. At its completion, students are encouraged to return to mainstream schools or undertake a further two years of vocational training in computing, catering, tailoring, agriculture, engineering, woodwork or childcare.
The Fijian government pays a per capita grant per student; however, this figure is far below MCI’s operational costs and does not include funds for maintenance, capital works or the salaries of ancillary staff. The vocational students generate a small but steady income stream each year by selling the items they have produced, learning basic business management skills in the process.
At the beginning of 2018 AMS sent producer Ada Francesca Rizzoli to MCI to follow a student on her daily routine as well as gain an insight into the crucial role the Institute is playing in educating Fijians with learning difficulties. To watch, click this link: https://youtu.be/rIxFOjHl8fo
You can make a difference to the lives of young Fijians by supporting their decision to re-engage with the educational process, thereby expanding their options for the future.