Vanuatu is a collection of Pacific islands, made up of rural villages and dramatic landscapes. Outside of the capital city island life has not changed for generations and volunteers can immerse themselves in a culture wholly different from their own. 90% of Ni-Van children attend primary school, however due to limited places and cost many do not continue. Volunteers work within poorly funded and under-resourced schools and directly help to educate Ni-Van children.
Placements are located on the islands of Ambae, Pentecost, Paama and Tanna. All are accessible by Twin Otter planes.
Is it for me?
In Vanuatu you will work as a full-time teacher and draw upon your own educational background. These challenging placements will suit academically confident, hardworking and responsible people. You will discover if teaching is for you while truly immersing yourself within the rich culture. Placements in Vanuatu offer the chance of real grass-roots volunteering, volunteers must be willing to forgo most luxuries, even running water and electricity, and be prepared to truly integrate into island life.
Teaching placements are in primary and secondary schools, which are basic and have limited resources. Volunteers teach a range of subjects such as English, maths, science, geography and history. Additional duties may include general boarding supervision and assistance with extracurricular activities such as sport (soccer, volleyball and basketball), music and drama. Volunteers work full school days and have some occasional evening boarding work.
Accommodation and Food
Accommodation is either provided within the host school or with local families in the surrounding community. It is basic but is no different from the accommodation that most Ni-Vans have. There are bush toilets, no hot water, bucket showers and little or no electricity. Food is supplied and is quite simple, with a typical diet consisting of rice, bread, local cabbages, vegetables, fruit and tinned meat. Volunteers may need to cook for themselves and have the resourcefulness to make meals more interesting with herbs, spices and sauces. However, volunteers are often surprised by how little they miss their home comforts, particularly in the welcoming communities of Vanuatu.
Accommodation & food
Need to know
Pre departure briefing – all volunteers are invited to a group briefing prior to departure
On arrival – all volunteers travel together to Port Vila where they undertake a one-week orientation
You will also need to budget for:
Teaching skills course
Volunteers have the opportunity to travel during the school holidays and at the end of their placement. You could head on to New Zealand, Australia or Fiji or take time to explore some of the 83 islands that make up the Vanuatu Archipelago. There are active volcanoes, rainforests, turquoise seas, coral reefs – in fact everything you need in a South Sea Island paradise. The adventurous may choose to sandboard down volcanic slopes, abseil down sheer waterfalls or gallop along palm fringed beaches. You must not miss the N’gol ritual on Pentecost Island where men and boys “land dive” from 30 metre high towers with a vine attached to their ankles to celebrate the yam harvest.