Dear Fiji Kinde Friends,

Our ministry began in 2008 and with your support we have established 76 kindergartens providing an academic foundation to over 4800 children. We will continue education programs throughout Fiji by sending another team of Pepperdine students in February of 2013. The team will be staying at the Mission at Natuvu Creek on the island of Vanua Levu for in-service training for 30 teachers. In March 2013, we will be establishing 6 more kindes along the northern coast of Vanua Levu in a very remote area.

Fiji Kinde Project appreciates the partnerships of 3 resorts. They include Manativusi, Nukubati, and Tavarua.

LOVE Reusable Bags has also partnered with Fiji Kinde Project. They have created a design unique only to FKP and have designated a give back program. For every Gawaltney designed bag bought, LOVE reusable bags is donating a Stash It sack to the kinde children. Their generosity to Fiji Kinde Project has been vital to the success of the growth of the kindes. Click Here to order your reusable bag. They make a great stocking stuffer!

In your end of year giving, we ask that you remember FKP.

 

 

Click Here to Donate

A typical breakdown of costs include:

$50 pencils, scissors, construction paper, crayons

$100 Read and Share Bibles for children,Teacher’s NIV Bible, Children’s books, Games, Puzzles, Flash Cards, Toothbrushes, play dough ,gluesticks, paint, calendar kit,

$500 Teacher supplies and curriculum, visual schedules, song books, music supplies, alphabet stories, hand puppets, comprehensive curriculum of Basic skills , White board, Weather chart

$1250 an entire bag with all the supplies above plus alphabet and counting flash cards,Year round teacher’s lesson planner, math manipulatives, active play equipment, foam blocks, Classroom clock

 

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Ann and David Cooper

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2012 Newsletter

January 27, 2012 · 0 comments

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click here to download the 2012 newsletter

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Dear Friends and Family!

Thank you sooooo very much for your words of encouragement, prayer, and financial support of me and the Fiji Kinde Project.  It was an amazing trip and I felt honored to be a part of it!!  We were there for only ten days but excited to see the many ways in which we were able to help train and equip the Fijian people who came to learn and make a difference in their country’s early childhood education.  They are such a lovely people with big hearts I couldn’t help but fall in love with them!  Their desire to educate and raise up their children for the next generation, as well as using their own gifts and talents in a meaningful and life-changing way was truly inspiring.

We had two different training sessions in two different locations while we were there.  The first village was called Nabila (pronounced Nambila).  We were hosted at a nearby resort (Tavarua) because they wanted to be part of giving back to the village that most of its employees come from.  Each day we would wear clothes respecting their culture (the Sulu and Sulu Chamba), take a 20 minute boat ride (small boat with outboard motor – waves often splashing us in the face – haha! : )  ) to the village school where there was a Kindergarten that had been established a year prior by Fiji Kinde Project and was up and running with the rest of the 1st-8th grade classrooms.  We demonstrated the lesson plans, music, p.e. games, reading, learning aids, etc. with the existing Kindergarten class in the morning. Then, after lunch with the trainees, we had an afternoon session without the children to go over different teaching skills.  On the last day of the training, we gave them the opportunity to teach the K classroom and observe each other.  At the end we had a graduation and a traditional Fijian ceremony to mark the occasion.

I would say in many ways they are a Christian nation as they easily integrate faith in the public school.  They value teaching their children scripture, songs and prayer in the school setting!!  The official from the Dept. of Education opened our training with words of encouragement and prayer!!  For a minute I felt I was back at Mariners Christian School!!  They place a high value on leadership, education, and honoring each other.  I was touched to see the value they give God and His word.

The second area we went to was in Vunaniu Village – another part of the country, where again we stayed at a nearby resort that wanted to support the Fiji Kinde Project.  We couldn’t have been more blessed with the accommodations, and although it wasn’t my expectation, I enjoyed having the time to refresh and regroup before heading out to the villages again.  We met the most lovely local people who were so appreciative and hospitable, who prepared traditional meals for us and welcomed us into their homes.  Their smiles, faces and caring ways will never be forgotten!

I’ve attached a short slideshow I hope you will enjoy and perhaps you can catch a glimpse of what it was like.  (Kristi, my niece is in many photos with me – so great to have her on the trip too!)

Thank you for sharing in this adventure with me!  The support of my family (especially Tim) and friends are what made it possible for me to go!

http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=2EbMmzVs2YuLg (make sure to expand the screen to see it larger!)

With love and thanksgiving!

Karen McSunas

(Fiji Kinde Team – Oct. 2011 – Ann Cooper, Devon Kelly, Kristi Bjorkman, Karen McSunas, Marilee and Allison Schneider)”This is how we know what love is; Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”  I John 3:16

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Fall Newsletter

October 18, 2011 · 0 comments

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Click here to download the Fiji Kinde Fall Newsletter

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Dear Partners

October 5, 2010 · 0 comments

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October 1, 2010

Dear Partners,

It is so exciting to give you an update on Fiji Kinde Project’s ministry. I traveled to Fiji by myself this past summer. The trip gave me the opportunity to see firsthand some various villages where we have established Kindergartens.

Neither the teachers nor the schools knew I was coming. Though unannounced, I anticipated warm Fijian welcomes. But what I did not anticipate was my reaction when I saw the Kinde classrooms, teachers, and children. Alone, in a remote island village, I cried (literally) with joy when I heard “my words” come out of the teachers mouths, and I saw the materials, through your giving, being utilized. The calendar and weather chart up, the books and puzzles out, center time with crayons and blocks. And the children’s Bible opened with a bible memory verse written on paper taped to the wall! The children performed songs and did finger plays for me that were from our Teacher In-service. My heart overflowed with joy! I felt like a proud mommy bird, watching her baby birds fly.

Thank you for your giving. As we finish out this calendar year and see all God’s blessings, we are thankful for your support. Your sacrificial gift of supporting us has been crucial. As of October 31, 2010 we will have established 33 Kindergartens since 2007. Amazing!

Our next trip is only a few weeks away. October 21st we will be taking a team of 8 friends to Fiji; Wendy and Steve Bowie, Marilee Schneider, Terri Lawson, Linda Lawler, Nancy Fry, David and myself. We appreciate your prayers.

As you pray for our team, we also hope that you will be prayerful during your end of the year giving. Obviously, we know you have choices in giving and these days stretching a dollar is not as easy as it has been. However if you are planning on giving to a Philanthropy or other charitable organization we hope you will consider giving to Fiji Kinde Project Ministry. Your gift is 100% tax deductible.

Giving is a partnership and the need is so great. Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is; there your heart will be also.” Your gifts from the heart will be treasured by the children of Fiji.

Serving Together,

Ann Cooper

Founder, Fiji Kinde Project

Tax ID# 26-4107858

PS. Check out our website! www.fijikindeproject.com

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Article originally published in the Laguna Beach Independent

Are prayers answered? Laguna Beach resident Ann Cooper thinks so. So does her counterpart in Fiji, “Ana,” and the children attending 18 newly established kindergartens in the island nation.

On an anniversary trip to Fiji in 2005, Cooper, a former kindergarten teacher, looked beyond the luxurious accommodations and was struck by the poor living conditions and lack of early childhood education.

After thinking and praying about it for two years, Cooper returned to Fiji two years later with her family, accompanying a medical and dental mission at Natuvu Creek. Missionary Lois Oldham recalls Cooper wondering how she could help since her only qualification was as a kindergarten teacher.

Oldham directed Cooper to Ana, who recently had asked for help finding a “kinde” teacher for her village. Ana said she would pray for one. Then Cooper showed up.

“When I connected Ann with Ana in Vunikura, you could just feel the synergy as they formed an immediate bond,” said Oldham. “…I believe that both of them recognized this was God’s doing and it was exciting to be part of what He was doing.”

Lacking supplies but full of excitement, Cooper visited Vunikura the next day and taught an improvised kindergarten class for a week. Three months later, accompanied by an art teacher from Irvine and armed with suitcases full of pre-school supplies, Cooper “planted” her first kindergarten.

She returned in the spring of 2008 with two student volunteers and planted a second kindergarten. That fall, with the help of intern Amy Williams, she planted eight more. And a “planting” trip last spring brought the total to 18.

“I think this project has changed my life,” said Williams, now a sophomore at Cal Poly in Pomona. “And seeing Ann’s joy and willingness to do whatever is necessary, and how much she loves what she is doing, makes me want to help.”

“Planting” a kindergarten involves a week of orientation and hands-on training for the teachers, who receive a preschool “starter kit” complete with a lesson plan book and such items as chalk boards, flash cards, picture books, puppets, building blocks, alphabet letters, crayons, markers, learning games and materials, etc.

Kits, costing about $750 each, also include toothbrushes and toothpaste, bringing the children an element of hygiene that is usually overlooked there, and the students keep their toothbrushes at school, since at home they might run the risk of being repurposed.

The villages in question have no electricity or running water. They have a pump well for drinking water and the creek serves as a place to bath and wash clothes, and sometimes as a toilet. Cooper said these children aren’t offered school until the first grade. Most have never seen crayons or markers.

The kids were “giddy with excitement,” said Oldham as Cooper set up the first kindergarten. “They were thrilled to have something just for them!”

Cooper’s initiative was reported last August in the Fiji Times Online, which noted her residence 8750 kilometers from Fiji. “Yet she has initiated a kindergarten project…”

In 2008, Cooper earned nonprofit recognition for the Fiji Kinde Project, which brings early childhood education to the islands of Fiji. She also met with Fiji’s minister of education, which now assists Cooper in organizing teacher training and has formalized preschool teacher registration.

Word has gotten out. Now villagers who want a kindergarten get their name placed on a list at the ministry, which helps gather prospective teachers when Cooper arrives with kits. They all converge at one village for a week’s training, staying with locals. Then they return to their villages with supplies and a teaching certificate.

“I just really am that kindergarten teacher that wants to be in the classroom,” said a bemused Cooper, who, in addition to filling “kinde” kits in her garage, has a full-fledged nonprofit to run. She returns to Fiji on Sept. 20 to set up six new kindergartens and evaluate and restock the 18 already established.

It helps that she learns on the go. Her first kits she prepared in plastic tubs. Now she uses large canvas luggage bags with wheels for ease through airports and for Fiji moms to haul back to their villages. Chalkboards replaced dry erase boards when it became apparent that markers were scarce locally, while chalk was in ready supply.

With kindergartens flourishing, Cooper now is turning her attention from kits to cash.

She and her husband so far have footed most of the bill, though they have received some donations from family and friends, and through church fundraisers. Through a connection at Air Pacific, the extra cargo fees for their kits are waived.

While Cooper readily concedes that she can’t indefinitely continue to shoulder all expenses, she remains optimistic. “Doors one after another have just opened up,” she said.

Pepperdine University, where Cooper’s son is a sophomore, is opening one. Its service organization class will take on the Fiji Kinde Project this fall. And Cooper’s passion was added as a destination for the college’s “Project Serve,” which organizes educational trips for students to take during spring break next March.

Students will help Fiji Kinde with organization, said Andrei Constantin Duta, an assistant professor at Pepperdine. Start-up nonprofits face many challenges, including developing a strong board, for example, he said. But he, too, is impressed by Cooper’s passion and entrepreneurship, or he wouldn’t get involved.

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View project info at the Grace Fellowship web site.

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Article originally published at CharlesFake.com

Last night at our church’s mid-week service, Mrs. Ann Cooper spoke to us about the work she is doing in the Fiji islands. She goes to Fiji three times a year to establish Christ-centered kindergartens, and to enlist and train teachers for the work. In three years, 27 kindergartens have come into being in villages on the islands. Teams of volunteers go with her at their own expense to help with the project. Boxes and boxes of costly materials for the kindergartens are taken to Fiji with them. She and her husband, David, paid all the expenses and bought all of the materials as long as they could, but the current deep recession has impacted them severely and they have set up a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that accepts donations. The address is Fiji Kinde Project, P.O. Box 4104, Laguna Beach, California 92652-4104.

Ann is the daughter of Ruth and Troy Conner, who is the minister of music at Timbergrove Baptist Church, Houston, where I am pastor. She is one of the sweetest people in the world and I am happy to have the privilege of praying for her in this missionary work. This did not come into being through anything other than prayer. She is a former kindergarten teacher. God laid this on her heart. She obeyed and the Lord has richly blessed her commitment to Christ.

The villages served by these new schools have no electric power or running water. Consequently, they have none of the modern conveniences or distractions. This early education project is eagerly received because there is no pre-school education other than these kindergartens. Ann’s vision, which is shared by everyone involved in “The Kinde Project,” is to send teams of educators to Fiji to share, train, teach and provide. One by one, village by village, she and those who voluntarily work with her, will set up a Christ-centered kindergarten program using a well-planned, comprehensive classroom model. Ann needs and wants your prayers for her and the Fijian people.

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The Mission at Natuvu Creek featured The Fiji Kinde Project on their web site:

Even the most basic education is often out of geographical or financial reach for many families. As a result, many of Fiji’s impoverished children are not given the chance to pull themselves or their communities out of the hardship they endure. The children of the Buca Bay area do not have a viable school for grades 11 through 13 in the immediate area. Moreover, transportation and other costs required to attend schools in neighboring towns are often prohibitive.

View the article at The Mission at Natuvu Creek.

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View article at the Fiji Daily Post

SIX more new kindergartens will be established shortly in the Buca Bay area, Vanua Levu, thanks to the initiative of Ann Cooper, a former kindergarten teacher from California USA.

This will increase to 33 the number of kindergartens Ms Cooper established under ‘The Fiji Kinde Project’ – a faith-based programme she founded in 2007.

Ms Cooper, along with six helpers from the US,  just returned from conducting a one-week training workshop for new kindergarten teachers from villages of Nukubalavu, Volivoli, Vanuavou, Nasinu, Kasavu, Vacilevu & Saqani in Buca Bay.

After the workshop the teachers will be given school supplies brought in from the US by Ms Cooper, to get the new kindergartens started.

“I’m really happy with the progress of The Fiji Kinde Project which brings me to Fiji twice every year to conduct workshops and launch new kindergartens,” says Ms Cooper.

“The response we got during the workshop we had in September last year was so encouraging that we decided to have another workshop in May this year.

“I’ve also been encouraged by the support we’ve received from the Ministry of Education and Air Pacific to keep the project going for the benefit of hundreds of children in
Buca Bay,” says Ms Cooper.

She greatly appreciates the emphasis Fiji Government is putting on education and sees her project as contributing to improving education in Fiji.

“I believe learning at a young age is foundational for children to fully develop to their full potential,” Ms Cooper said.

Ms Cooper is bringing in 10 cartons of school supplies donated by friends & churches in Houston & Dallas Texas and Southern California, and shipped to Fiji, courtesy of Air Pacific.

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