GAP Year Vanuatu


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The GAP Year Vanuatu Project

...... commenced in 1998 on the initiative of BFoV committee member, Tony Williams.  With our support, the Bristol branch of the English Speaking Union sponsored the first six young students to help out in schools in Vanuatu.  In 1999 the GAP organisation in Reading took over the scheme and Tony Williams was appointed the GAP Project manager for Vanuatu.  Since its inception the project has grown considerably.  A ni-vanuatu in-country representative was appointed in Port Vila in 2000.  

In 2001 Colin Redston, another BFoV member, took over  the Vanuatu GAP Year Project manager post.  Previously appointed to the then New Hebrides in 1976, Colin worked with the British Residency and the newly independent Vanuatu administrations until 1981. Since his appointment Colin has worked closely with the association, exploring ways in which we can continue to support GAP activities in the field of education.  In particular, Colin and future GAP year students will monitor on our behalf the continuing effectiveness of previous, high value BFoV donations to schools under our programme for support to education in Vanuatu, and will recommend changes where appropriate.

 

 

Paul Dunsford In 2006 the role of GAP project manager for Vanuatu (the UK arm of GAP is now called GAP-Activity UK) was taken over by Paul Dunsford, a young British national now resident in Australia. Paul is 26 years of age (in 2007) and has been with GAP since 2004.   Since his appointment to GAP Paul works as the Project Coordinator in Australia, where his responsibilities include Vanuatu. In Vanuatu Paul works closely with BFOV member Sue Baereleo who acts as the in-country representative for GAP. 

At the Readinh headquarters of GAP-UK the Vanuatu desk officer is Rob Bradford. A retired teacher, new to the post and still learning more about Vanuatu, Rob will be working closely with the Australian regional team in the selection, assignment and support of future GAP year volunteers to Vanuatu. At the regional level GAP Activity is represented in Australia by Phil Barrett, Regional Manager, who is supported by Vic Ryall, a part-time volunteer Project Manager who is probably better known as the Principal of Melbourne Grammar School. Paul Dunsford describes his main responsibilities as the planning and delivery of in-country orientation courses (which in Vanuatu are held on the island of Nguna) developing hosts and relationships, and providing in-country pastoral support for the young volunteers. As a result of a BFOV / GAP meeting in Reading, we look forward to closer working between the two organisations, with BFOV perhaps providing support for transportation links for charitable gifts of books destined for Vanuatu schools, in country support from members, and speakers for UK orientation courses, particularly ex GAP volunteers. In return, we hope that the GAP organisation will promote the interests of our own organisation and the charity by encouraging as many volunteers as possible to sign up for BFOV membership on their return.