Classroom build to benefit Vanuatu schoolkids

The classroom built in 2023. Photo: supplied.

A Pāpāmoa woman is gathering two teams of Kiwi volunteers to build a second classroom for students at a Vanuatu school.

Diana Judge is doing her part to help the Port Vila community by taking her charity organisation, Volunteer Build, back to Vanuatu in August to build a second classroom for the V2 Life School, which continues to outgrow its facilities.

“Volunteer Build was set up to provide cost-effective travel options, connecting people with projects around the world that directly assist with relieving the effects of poverty,” she says.

Volunteer Build constructed one classroom last year and is preparing to return to build a second after the school’s roll exploded in the past 3½ years.

Diana says the new classrooms offer a space for children to learn in an environment safe from the weather, such as cyclones.

“They are desperate for additional space. The school aims to meet the issues ... faced by the Teouma Valley community.”

Education issues

Diana says these issues include a lack of accessible local schools, out-of-area schools being full and not taking new enrolments, no local secondary schools and affordable education being out of reach for many parents.

“We’ll build another 96-square-metre concrete block classroom over nine days, which is large enough to split into two separate classrooms.”

It takes a team of 20 volunteers to build half of a double classroom – and the children would not otherwise have an indoor space in which to learn.

“We built a double school classroom at the same school last year,” says Diana. “The school roll has grown hugely from 40 in 2019 to 200 – with more on a waitlist – so they’re desperate for more space.”

This classroom will be the same design as the previous one. In 2023, Hutt International Boys’ School built the first half and another Volunteer Build team built the remainder.

“It took nine days to do from the slab up. We finished Friday and the kids were in class on the Monday.”

Six places left 

Diana was in Vanuatu two weeks ago preparing for the project, which starts on August 13. Two teams of volunteers will head over.

One group is open to anyone aged 12-79 with no prior building experience required. The other team is a private business arriving in Vanuatu the following week.

Last year’s volunteer team with children from V2 Life School. Photo: supplied.

Diana says the 2023 classroom has since been rendered inside out, so it’s waterproof and painted, and tiles have been laid. “They will put in drop ceilings and more lighting once funds permit.

“The kids and teachers told me they loved their new class.”

Six places are still available for the volunteering trip from August 13-19. Find out more at

“All volunteers donate $1000 towards building materials, then the balance is made up from donations and fundraising. Building materials for the classroom cost $45,000, and we need to raise another $6000.

“We use 2000 concrete blocks, and the cost of the block, mortar and block fill needed for each block is approximately $3. Donors can sponsor one, 10, or 100 blocks – however many blocks you want.”

To donate, visit:

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