Preschool brings joy to village

A FOUR-YEAR struggle to offer quality early childhood education to the children of Vagadra, Namoli, Buruwa and Nawaqadamu ended with the opening of the new Buruwa Kindergarten in the highlands of Nadi.

Nawaqadamu Village headman Kuruasi Vesikuru said before the centre opened, preschoolers were taught in village halls and houses.

“We needed a school for our young children so we had requested help from the government,” said Mr Vesikuru.

“With their help, we were able to find the Children of Fiji organisation which was able to secure funding for the school.”

Children of Fiji founders Peter and Margaret Long from the UK have been on a mission to establish early learning childhood centres across the country for more than 14 years.

For the Buruwa Kindergarten project, the couple teamed with Fiji’s largest sugar buyer Tate and Lyle and the Lautoka Cane Producers Association to fund the construction of the kindy last year.

“We were very pleased to have Tate and Lyle come on board and agree to be part of this worthwhile project,” said Mrs Long.

“We wanted to name the school Sweet Smiles to commemorate their contribution to the project.”

The Lautoka Cane Producers Association contributed $5000 to the project.