More than 300 pupils from four schools in the northern part of the island of Ambrym have been able to meet, see and touch for the first time the Mini Games Mascot, Nasi, and the Sagoa.
North Ambrym Zone Curriculum Advisor, John Magetor, said the visit of the Games mascot and the Sagoa in their schools was very impressive to the children.
“We’d heard about the Mini Games but not much more, because the communication network is a very big challenge to us. But having this visit in our villages is the best approach that Van2017 made to bring us clear and up-to-date information about the Mini Games, and I think that is the best alternative that the government should use,” he said.
School children from Ranon secondary school, and Lingbul, Fanla and Ranon primary schools gathered together at Ranon Primary school compound to meet the Mascot Team.
“To me, the Van2017 team brought us into light with Pacific Mini Games information; also I really appreciated how the messages and information were presented to us, because it was with fun, and that’s how they got all the children’s attention,” said Mr Magetor.
“We, as Melanesian people, receive and understand easily messages through this approach, where people come to us in the village to make awareness with role plays, full of fun. That is the best approach for us in rural communities.”
Mr Magetor is accompanying Van2017 Mascot Team from the North to the West of the Island, to promote the Games, and to also reach out with key messages on environment, education and health.
“Having this team in schools is like a back up and a reminder to our children about important messages in their learning, and how to keep a healthy lifestyle. They have learnt a lot.
“Thanks to sponsors who brought the Mascot Team to our Island, to feed us with informative messages, especially the rural people.
“I would also appreciate if the government could allow some of us in the islands to also have the opportunity to watch on television the Mini Games in December,” said Mr Magetor.
John Worwor, the Principal of Ranon Primary School, said the mascot visit was very informative to the children.
“It reminded them on basic hygiene rules and the importance of having a clean environment, and going to school as well, because we tend to overlook simple things,” he said.
“Not only that, but having Nasi in our area is like a wake up call as well, to all our sports leagues, to revive the interest in sport.”
As part of its legacy plan that advocates for environmental issues, Okeanos was chosen to assist the journey of Nasi the loveable bird and the Sagoa, as a reflection of traditional ways of inter-island voyaging to communicate and raise awareness.