Thousands of tourists arriving at Mystery Island have brought school supplies, enough to last for a year for each student in primary schools within Tafea Province.
This uninhabited island is the home of Aneityum's airstrip. Boasting its beautiful fine sandy beaches, Mystery Island is receiving thousands of tourists via cruise liners each year.
A particular tourist has requested all visiting tourists to Mystery Island to bring with them “school Kits”; in the first three months of this year, given that in Australia, “back to school supplies sales” are usually staged in January.
The kit comprises 21 exercise books, 10 pencils, 10 pens, one ruler, 2 erasers, pencil case, 20 colouring pencils, 2 glue sticks and more. Many passengers brought 10 or 20 kits each.
It is now more than 2 years since school supplies started to be taken in large amounts to Mystery Island.
There were so many kits brought that three ship loads have been sent from Anelcauhat to Tanna.
All schools on Futuna, Aniwa, Erromango, and Aneityum reportedly had enough supplies for all students sent to them.
Teruja Junior Secondary School Administration on Aneityum is acknowledged for meeting the expenses of the supplies shipped to other islands within Tafea.
The Department of Customs is applauded for waiving Import Duty and VAT taxes on donations. Stanley Trief and Tarry Baddley from the Department of Customs were specifically mentioned and acknowledged for assisting with policies and procedures allowing the donations to come in free of charge.
The tourist remarked, “You have helped thousands of children in Vanuatu have enough school supplies for a year."
Makoya Ben, a teacher on Aneityum, who is coordinating the donation program expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the generous support from the cruise passengers.
Mr Ben said they helped not only the children of Aneityum, but, extended their generous contribution to islands that the cruise ships could not visit.
Ben said in the past children would usually share their stationery with their friends in school, but, this year is the first time ever for all the school children to own a whole set of stationaries.
He also added that the school can now save the money that should have been spent on school stationery on other school projects.