Angry Fire Ants Attack Sleeping Children.

by lynthomas - Date: 2008-05-14 - Word Count: 607 Share This!

Pain and agony is not unkown for the people of the isolated northern islands of the Vanuatu archipelago. Support that is offered by the government is so minimal that health care can only be described as non-existent. There is no hospital. There is no easy transport to medical assistance. There are very few health care opportunities available. There is limited schooling.

Bill, 8 years old, woke in the dark of night yelling his little heart out. Everyone in the village heard the commotion. In the dark the family struggled to find the cause, as Bill continued to scream.

Bill, along with his brother and sister, sleep on the compacted, earthen floor each night, on a grass mat. Across his legs was a trail of thousands of fire ants. Each had stung simultaneously sending excruciating pain through his tiny body.

In the early 1990s the South American fire ant arrived in these remote, northern Vanuatu islands, by visiting ships.

Encounters with fire ants can involve tens of hundreds of these tiny, reddish ants biting all at once, again and again. Bites are painful and the burning and the itching sensation lasts for hours. The body feels as if it is on fire.

After a few hours blisters form which can last for 10 days. Broken blisters become prone to infection. There are no doctors to treat the vicitims.

These people have for centuries relied on village knowledge and custom medicine to get them through a health crisis. They found their lives intruded on by ants that bite at night as they sleep. Ants that hunt in packs.

Fire ants live underground around the villages. Shallow mounds the only identifying feature of their presence until they begin their lethal trail searching for food. The people have no knowledge of how to deal with these invaders. No means to gain an understanding of the intruder. Bill will cry for days, as infection invades the open blisters. There is no local medicine medication available to treat the wounds.

These people have an oral history which is passed from generation to generation. Formal education is to grade 6 levels in a village school, which lacks school resources. The government admits that it is unable to provide schooling material for these isolated islands. Exercise books which are pulled apart to share pages for writing practise and pencils broken into three. Reading can only be done in groups, as there are not enough books to go around. The pain and agony of a lack of education ressources is evident to these people. Their children are the future of their community and their nation.

The communities appeal to the charities, to the NGOs, to the aid organisations for assistance. YouMe Support Foundation is one charity working to help children like Bill. Based in the capital Port Vila, it has utilised its connections with Seachange Lodge to provide support to these isolated islands. Since 2004 guests at the small resort have contributed to boxes of educational resources sent north.

The owners, Rick and Wendy Tendys, set aside 10% of profit to purchase items requested by the Mota Lava villagers, including sending fire ant preventative powder, to be spread around the sleeping area against the dreaded fire ants. For a cost of only $Aus300 these villager children were made safe.

Now YouMe Support Foundation is raising funds by offering a South Pacific Tropical Boutique Resort plus six holiday apartments, in a world first raffle. All funds are invested in Child Trust Fund for the ongoing distribution of non-repayable educational grants for the kids of the northern islands.

You can make a difference in the lives of these children, by joining YouMe Support Foundation.

Related Tags: charity, education, kids, fire ants, travel and leisure, child trust fund, travel adventure, tropical islands, win a resort, blue moon opportunities, all inclusive vacations, seachange lodge

Dr Wendy and her husband Rick are the CEOs of YouMe Support Foundation, supplier of non-repayable high school education grants . Over the past four years they and their guests from Seachange Lodge have provided desperately needed school supplies to remote island communities in the far north of Vanuatu.YouMe Support Foundation in partner ship with Win a Resort is giving away Seachange Lodge on the Internet. All funds are placed into a Trust Fund to provide education for children who will never enter the 21st century without assistance.Your donation can make a difference in the lives of these children.

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