It is official, Ebeye Gem Christian School has been awarded $91,000 from the Embassy of Japan to be used toward the building of three additional classrooms for the school. On average, construction costs for one classroom runs about $38K due to labor costs, logistics of shipping construction materials to an island, and the cost of materials in general. Construction will begin the second week of June, just after the school’s end of year graduation activities.
Here’s a short excerpt from The Marshall Islands Journal April 15, 2011 issue, written by Isaac Marty:
Japan recently held three Grassroots Grants ceremonies for Ebeye and Rairok schools, and Aur Atoll Local Government at the Japan Embassy last month. For Ebeye, an agreement was signed for a $91,767 grassroots grant to build a three-classroom building in Ebeye for one of the private schools known as the Gem Christian School…officials from Ebeye that were at the ceremony were vice principal Noble Ned, Abita Joram, Kiton Loibwij, Tim Ned, Joel Clinton and Abring Jilly.
Gem School is a rapidly growing educational facility with over 170 students running grades K-5. Next fall we will be adding a sixth grade and the classrooms are greatly needed to increase our capacity to hold this many students.
The island of Ebeye is so overcrowded that most children do not attend school at all due to lack of space in the school system. Sometimes, due to lack of teachers and volunteers, there are schools where the students show up in class with no one to teach them. It’s a dire situation and nations like Japan are doing what they can to assist Ebeye in their pursuit of a better life. I personally find this admirable, as Japan is going through their own national crisis right now.
According to the article, Japan’s government has funded nine grassroots projects this year (April 2010-March 2011), and the total contribution to Republic of the Marshall Islands educational system at large is $811, 560.
Those of us here at Gem are incredibly thankful to God and to the Embassy of Japan for their monetary support. It is a blessing to us and to the children of Ebeye.