The Aroha Partnership Full Programmes of Work

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The programmes of work being done in each country have been created in partnership and consultation with local communities and governments. These are sustainable, long term solutions to the problems facing each of these communities and will foster long term resilience in the Asia-Pacific for generations to come.


A scalable model will be used to install disaster resilient water and sanitation facilities in primary and secondary schools in the Penama Province. This provides a healthy environment for students to reach their full learning potential. That's an estimated 95,000 children's lives being changed!

Vanuatu | ©UNICEF/UN0224238
Vanuatu | ©UNICEF/UN0224238

  • Only 30% of Vanuatu's schools have safe drinking water

  • Only 22% have hand-washing facilities. More have facilities that are often broken or unreliable. 

  • Kids are getting sick, missing out on class and falling behind or dropping out all together.

  • Girls of menstruation age are often absent for up to one week of every month due to lack of water, toilet and handwashing facilities in school.

  • Only 29% of school water supplies are in good condition, and only 22% of schools have functional handwashing facilities near toilets. 

  • 2015 data in the Vanuatu Education Management Information System (VEMIS), showed on average one toilet was shared by 45 boys and one by 40 girls. 

What work are we doing?

The Aroha Partnership will provide the following for approximately 482 primary, and 113 secondary schools:

  • Water for drinking and handwashing.

  • Separate toilets for boys and girls.

  • Toilet and handwashing facilities that support girls with menstrual hygiene and children with disabilities. 

  • Toilet, water supply and handwashing facilities more likely to endure after a disaster (‘disaster resilient’).

  • Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene policies, standards, and guidelines at the national, provincial, and school level.

  • Training for school committees and teachers on the operation and maintenance of all facilities.

  • Real time monitoring systems at the school, provincial, and national levels.

Solomon Islands

A scalable model will be used to install water and sanitation facilities in 86 schools and preschools in the Guadalcanal Province, providing a healthy environment for students to reach their full learning potential. This includes providing safe drinking water, toilets and hand-washing facilities to children in 86 schools and preschools across the Solomon Islands to help these children get back on track.

Solomon Islands | ©UNICEF/UN0205821
Solomon Islands | ©UNICEF/UN0205821

  • Only half of schools in the Solomon Islands have toilets. Of these, facilities are frequently broken or unreliable. 

  • Nearly two thirds of schools in Solomon Islands do not have single-sex usable water and sanitation facilities. The lack of reliable working facilities and services in schools is more likely to impact girls and female teachers. Girls in school struggle with the lack of water and inadequate toilet facilities. The impacts of these challenges include absenteeism, feelings of shame or embarrassment, lack of concentration and reduced participation in class. 

  • It’s all having a massive impact on the health and education of a child - and in turn, damaging their chances for a brighter future.

What work are we doing?
  • Taps will be provided at 86 schools and preschools for drinking and handwashing 

  • Separate toilets for boys and girls

  • Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene policies, standards, and guidelines at the national, provincial, and school level

  • Training for school committees and teachers on the operation and maintenance of all facilities

  • Real time monitoring systems at the school, provincial, and national levels 

  • ‘Three Star Approach’ to Water and Sanitation in Schools initially focusing on achieving daily supervised handwashing


In Kiribati, there will be two areas of focus.

We will be expanding and reinforcing a community-driven approach introduced by UNICEF Pacific to empower children as agents of behaviour change regarding sanitation, hygiene and water practices. UNICEF is aiming to improve water and sanitation access, facilities and change behaviours at all schools and health clinics on all 16 outer islands of the Gilbert Group of Kiribati - bringing clean drinking water, toilets and hand-washing facilities to children of all ages across 140 schools and preschools and 38 health clinics in Kiribati.

UNICEF will also use its experience globally supporting quality learning for every child and its existing strong relationship working directly with the Kiribati government, to create long term impact and sustainability of outcomes for children in Kiribati. Young children will be provided with quality pre-schooling at home or in designated community centres. This is a crucial step in preparing kids to go to school once they hit five.

Kiribati | ©UNICEF/UN0202329
Kiribati | ©UNICEF/UN0202329

  • Kiribati has one of the highest rates of under-five mortality in the Pacific region, at 49 deaths per 1000 live births.

  • This is mainly due to diarrhoeal disease, largely caused by inadequate access to clean water, appropriate sanitation and good hygiene practices.

  • Due to the high population density, sanitation in Kiribati is at “crisis levels” in terms of the risk it poses to public health and generally scarce water resources.

  • Children that do attend school are at risk of getting sick - with just 3% of all schools having access to basic sanitation and only 4% having safe drinking water.

  • The impacts of poverty are significant in Kiribati and children and families are highly exposed to risk and economic shocks. Lack of comprehensive social protection and other social welfare services is a significant gap and limits the ability of the government to lift vulnerable persons out of poverty and support economic growth. 

  • Children in Kiribati are missing out on crucial education and care at the key age for brain development, from birth to 5 years old – with a lasting effect on intellectual capacity, personality and social behaviour.

  • There is no standardised curriculum that is being used or training for preschool teachers working in these centres.

  • 70% of children regularly miss preschool and only 3% of children have 3 or more children’s books in their homes in South Tarawa (where over 40% of the country’s population live).

  • An inability to cover the cost of largely private early education, uniform and transport fees as well as a lack of understanding about the importance of early childhood education are preventing attendance of preschools in Kiribati.

What work are we doing?
  • Provide water and sanitation systems to up to 150 schools and preschools and 38 health clinics in 16 outer islands of the Gilbert Group.

  • Strengthen institutional frameworks for water and sanitation across Kiribati Government Ministries while providing water and sanitation service management training and tools to school-based management committees and healthcare teams.

  • Partner with NZ-based Environmental Science and Research to produce a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Technical Toolkit and planning framework to be used in conjunction with the upgrading and installation of technology appropriate options for the provision of drinking water, hand-washing and toilet facilities in schools

  • Assess and pilot innovative solutions for water and sanitation (i.e. compost toilets, raised platforms toilets, and baby potties)

  • Develop a Water, Sanitation and Health Education Toolkit and learning materials to support the national curriculum and train teachers to teach it.

  • Develop a fully resourced and culturally relevant preschool curriculum and guidelines with the Kiribati Ministry of Education.

  • Introduce positive parenting sessions in communities to support parents.

  • Consult with key early childhood education stakeholders and work with local artists to create and publish developmentally and culturally appropriate illustrated children’s books for children aged 0-5 with illustrations in the context of Kiribati culture.


Ensuring Timor-Leste’s young people are educated is arguably one of the biggest challenges facing Timor-Leste over the next decade. It will help children in even the most remote villages receive quality pre-schooling, so they can learn, play and go on to live brighter futures.

Timor-Leste | ©UNICEF/UN067562
Timor-Leste | ©UNICEF/UN067562


  • A prolonged period of conflict in their struggle for independence have left a generation of Timor-Leste disadvantaged.

  • Only 16.7% of children in Timor-Leste are enrolled into preschool. This is mostly due to lack of preschools in rural areas, insufficient government resourcing and low levels of awareness of the importance of early childhood education.

  • The government spends on average the equivalent cost of 11.2 years for a child to complete six years of primary education.

What work are we doing?
  • Provide preschool education to 120 rural communities in Ermera and Viqueque, reaching an estimated 5,200 children and 2,000 parents over four years.

  • Develop cost-effective and sustainable model for community based preschool with Ministry of Education.

  • Local delivery of community-based pre-schooling strengthened thorough training, mentoring and developing of systems e.g. training and mentoring for facilitators, training for School Management Committees and learning materials developed.

  • Community-based pre-schooling embedded in Viqueque and Ermera e.g. supporting 120 preschools to meet minimum standards developed, increase in number of children attending

  • Parenting education and behaviour change campaign developed and integrated into community-based preschools in target communities e.g. parenting sessions, community radio broadcasts and videos.

Papua New Guinea

More will be announced soon on what we'll be doing in Papua New Guinea.

Statistics and projections sourced from UNICEF Aotearoa New Zealand National Committee and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Negotiated Partnership 2021-2026

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