Help Build a Kindergarten in Fiji

Bula sia friends! As you may know, I recently spent a month on a remote island in Fiji on a study abroad experience that changed my life permanently for the better as well as my perspective on the world in valuable ways. I now have the incredible privilege of being an intern for the folks that helped make the study abroad experience possible, Bridge the Gap. BTG's mission is to be a supportive partner to the Mali Island tribe, located in a remote rural region of northern Fiji, by helping to facilitate mutually beneficial partnerships, investment in the Fijian community, and providing educational opportunities around Fijian culture and sustainable development. As an intern, one of my duties is to fundraise to improve conditions for the tribe, and I am so excited to share this sensational project with you.

The Mali District School is in need of a new kindergarten building for children ages 3-5. The current building used for kindergarteners is not structurally sound and is at a high risk of collapsing at any time. The school serves three remote villages with approximately 60 children enrolled, ranging from K-8.  Villagers live a sustenance based lifestyle, fishing and growing their food.  The primary source of income is fishing, but this way of life is no longer sustainable, due to issues like poaching, over fishing, and changes in the climate.  For this reason, education for their children is of utmost importance to the families in Mali.

This fundraising initiative is extra special because, like our mission states, BTG is a partner with the Mali tribe, so we are working side-by-side with the tribe members to make a safe school building a reality for the Mali children. Members of the Mali tribe are already fundraising for this project and they will be responsible for contributing the sweat equity of constructing the building. Your contributions are not a handout, but rather will be used to empower and involve local peoples in improving the conditions of the school for young children.

If these funds are not raised and a new kindergarten building is not built, more and more families will be forced to move away from the island to the mainland, where the cost of living is high and jobs are limited. The Mali tribe would prefer to provide quality and safe education for their children on their native land.  The tangible outcomes of this project are an increased standard of education, lower cost of living for Mali families, investment into the community and the futures of Mali children, and overall safer learning conditions for Mali children. Donation levels are listed below.

$1-99: Low tide donation. 
$100-499: High tide donation.
$500+: Tabua level donation. The tabua is a whale's tooth, which is the highest item of respect in Fijian culture.
To honor you as a donor, with your permission, your name will be listed in the donors section of our website as well as on a banner hung up in the new kindergarten building upon completion.

View the pictures below to see the current school building. 

Hear from the kindergarten teacher here.  
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Clare Rose Sweeney 
Indianapolis, IN

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