Home-Overcoming adversity - The Vaiala Beach School story

Vaiala Beach School

Vaiala Beach School (primary) started off with one student and now is one of the top primary schools in Samoa.

Vaiala Beach School started off with one student, Saba. They tutored him and from him more students kept coming. Lorraine and her colleagues weren’t aware they had a school until her students asked “What are we going to name our school?” and so they named it Vaiala Beach School, before they used to just call it Lorraine’s school.

Cyclone Ofa struck February the 1st to the 4th 1990. At that stage they had two flats for their school. The school was wrecked and they didn’t have insurance to cover for it. They quickly relocated to Hunters (located at Apia Park). After the cyclone in 1990 and the one in 1991 they managed to save some books but the rest didn’t last long because they were damaged and were impossible to repair.

What really encouraged Lorraine to start a school was the fact that she wasn't really enjoying where she was teaching at the time. After the cyclone all the students came back to the school. "They were very supportive and they all stayed with the school" says Lorraine. Lorraine was never short of teachers because there were overseas trained teachers living in the area then. Lorraine had much support from her friends.

Lorraine says " we didn’t really have a vision for the school at the beginning because we didn’t realise that we had a school until we had approximately 80 students. We are proud of the fact that we’ve overcome adversity with two cyclones, and shifting and building a new school from scratch to become one of the most successful schools in Samoa. What makes this school different from others is that they always strive for excellence and that they teach children to move forward."

In conclusion this is about Vaiala Beach School starting from scratch and being smashed down and then being able to be one of the most successful schools in Samoa.

By Piliopo and Janiva

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