P&O Cruises has officially opened a kindergarten in Vanuatu’s Panema province, built with funds raised through its Pacific Partnership with Save the Children.
Since the P&O Pacific Partnership launched in January, P&O Cruises and its passengers have raised more than $200,000 for Save the Children with $50,000 going towards the kindergarten.
The first project to be completed under the new partnership, the kindergarten recently opened its doors, with children from the Talwa community in Pangi, South Pentecost, returning from holidays to the brand new school.
The Talwa kindergarten includes a new two-room building, which can accommodate up to 30 children, as well as play equipment, a sand pit shed, a water tank and toilets.
The kindy opened with a colourful ceremony of customary dancing while the community presented representatives from the P&O Pacific Partnership with a wooden walking stick traditionally gifted to “high chiefs” to acknowledge the Partnership’s leadership, protection and guidance.
Head of P&O Cruises Ann Sherry said the cruise line was on track to deliver three Save the Children projects this year to help ensure that remote Pacific Island communities receive better medical care and educational support.
Builders are currently working on another kindergarten in the northern region of Sanma, while work on an Aid Post in Torba, the most remote of all Vanuatu islands, is set to be completed later this year.
“Thanks to the generosity of our passengers, we are making a real difference to the lives of the Pacific Island communities we visit,” Ms Sherry said.
“I’m pleased to say that we are well on the way to achieving our goal of raising over $1 million for Save the Children in four years.”
As well as donating at least $1 from their shipboard accounts, passengers have also been busy turning hundreds of Save the Children’s Born to Knit kits into warm blankets for newborn babies as part of a hands on approach to the new partnership.
Crew members from Pacific Jewel recently donated more than 40 colourful blankets to the Vila Central Hospital maternity ward on behalf of the cruise line and its passengers with the next blanket drop expected to take place this month.
For more information on the P&O Pacific Partnership visit www.pocruises.com.au