The nation of Kiribati may be unfamiliar to many of our supporters. Despite covering more than 3.5 million square kilometres of the Pacific, this collection of atolls and coral islands is home to just over 116,000 people.
Betio (pronounced Besso) is a township on the main island atoll, South Tarawa, where more than half of the country’s population lives. Here, more than 430 families are cramped onto a small area of land with a density about 10 times that of Auckland.
Betio is a new home for many from the outer islands who are looking for more opportunities to gain employment and a future for their children. Unfortunately, Betio is unequipped to cope.
Last year, ChildFund began implementing a programme of activities aimed at building family resilience and ensuring their children are healthy and young people receive quality education in Betio*.
The project is primarily focused on young people, many of whom have had a fractured or incomplete schooling and are unemployed and disengaged from their community. Working with the local technical college, ChildFund has supported a variety of re-entry pathways into formal education, as well as basic literacy and numeracy training.
In 2019, young people are waiting with excitement for building to start on a Youth-Learning Centre they have designed.
*This project is partially funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme. ChildFund, and our partner communities, value this support hugely.
This story was included as part of the 2018 Annual Report issue of Thrive magazine.