Solomon Islands Appeal
Dear Friend of the Solomon Islands,
The Salesians and the Sisters in the Solomon Islands have four ‘presences’ in three locations: Henderson, Gizo and Tetere; they are functioning well.
- The Don Bosco Technical Institute, Henderson, continues to provide basic skills training for more than 200 young men and women; the overwhelming majority secure employment soon after graduation.
- The Salesian Sisters’ Laura Vicuna Hostel for young women and Mary Mazzarello Womens’ Development Centre Henderson is well established and is making a significant contribution to the local community.
- Don Bosco Rural Training Centre Tetere caters for young men and women from villages from poor families; courses are provided in planting of crops, fruit and vegetables and the care of animals.
- Bishop Luciano Capelli, in the Diocese of Gizo, is continuing his ambitious school building programme and is providing access to education for large numbers of children.
I share some information on the outreach from the Sister’s Centre and two short pieces on a student and a recent graduate from Don Bosco Henderson:
1. The Sister’s Development Centre (now in its third year) caters for women who have had minimal formal education. Courses are offered in basic literacy and numeracy, textile studies, computing, cooking, catering, floral art, human development and Christian values.
Three who completed the course are now offering a similar ‘life skills’ program for females in Malaita. Two others have set up a dressmaking/tailoring business in Honiara. The women acknowledge that the Centre gave them the possibility of acquiring skills and gaining self-confidence. This enabled them to find good employment, help their families and assist others.
2. Nancy Iroha hails from the eastern part of Guadalcanal Island. She is the first female student in the Automotive Department at Don Bosco. In a class of 30, she is confident in diagnosing motor vehicle ‘problems’ and the repair and service of engines.
Nancy is a self-made young lady. During the ethnic tension her father, a Pastor of the SSEC Church, suffered a disabling hip injury. Feeling responsible for the family, she worked for two years at Tavanipupu resort in Marau after completing Grade 9. Hearing of DBTI from a cousin, Nancy nominated Automotive Technology as her preferred study area as she thought being trained to maintain engines for boats and trucks would be an important skill to bring to her village community.
“Don Bosco is a really special school. Each student is important and is helped to develop their character and competence,” Nancy said.
3. John Feraka is from Lilisiana in Auki (Malaita Province). When his mother died, he was sponsored by an aunt to do Grades 10 and 11. He then enrolled in the automotive course at Don Bosco Henderson. While life was not easy for John, he worked hard at his studies and he helped with maintenance work around Don Bosco in lieu of paying school fees. After graduation he secured employment in Honiara and in 2013 was able to upgrade his Level 11 Certificate from Don Bosco to the Australia Pacific Technical College’s Level 111 qualification.
Currently he is employed by Szetu Enterprises where he is responsible for the maintenance of machinery in the engineering division.
John is very grateful to Don Bosco not only for helping him to diagnose and fix problems but also for the preparation he received for entering the workforce. “My skills and knowledge would be useless if I was not able to work in a team, co-operate with colleagues, be dependable and punctual. We learnt these values at Don Bosco.” John added.
With every good wish,
Yours sincerely in St John Bosco,
(Br) Michael Lynch