DFAT and ACOM visit projects
OFFICIALS from Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) along with officials from the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) have paid a visit to four projects funded under their programme in Central Province.
Ms Leanne Newick, Ms Majdie Hordern (both DFAT officers based in Australia) and Ms Hollie travelled all the way from Australia to join Australian Second Secretary to Solomon Islands Ms Cass Grant, ACOM Project Coordinator Mr Casper Supa and ACOM Project Officer Mr Holland Sikou on the one-day visit.
Bishop of Central Solomon Diocese was among the important guests who welcomed the team upon their arrival in Tulagi followed by other important guests from different communities.
The visit commenced at Tulagi Mother Union Rest House, where two projects (Solar project and Women Saving Club) are currently rolling, then to Bishop Charles Koete Rural Training Centre – an institution benefited from a solar project.
The team then extended their visit to Taroniara Community – recipient of solar project before ended at St Clare mini-hospital – another recipient who have benefited well from DFAT and ACOM Solar Project.
In her speech during the visit Ms Majdie Hordern said the purpose of the visit was to see the changes and benefits the projects made to the communities.
She adds that the visit was also provide an avenue for DFAT to learn more about the project as well as to see area of improvement that are needed.
Ms Hordern stressed that lesson learnt from the visit will help improve the programme to be more effective and at the same time have greater impacts to communities.
She explained that the projects are funded under Australian Non-Government Funding programme which aimed at making a positive change to peoples’ lives.
Ms Hordern said DFAT has forty similar projects operating around the world including Solomon Islands.
Meanwhile she said the team was very pleased to meet and learn from the people.
“We are very pleased to see and also learn from you, we really enjoy talking to you about the benefit of these projects to you and your families,” Ms Hordern said.
Speaking on behalf of people and communities of Central Diocese, Bishop Ben Seka acknowledged DFAT and ACOM for the very important development programmes.
He described the projects as vital in terms of improving communities and families’ standard of living.
Bishop Seka adds that DFAT and ACOM have played a vital role in developing the future human resource of Solomon Islands with the solar projects allocated to Bishop Koete RTC.
“As the head of church in my diocese and on behalf of my people, I would like to thank you very much for these great assistance.
“These assistance are very important to us with great benefit that will last longer,” he said.
Bishop Seka said Central Diocese is looking forward to work with DFAT and ACOM in any projects in the future.
Other project recipients also share similar sentiments, saying that the projects have made major changes and benefit their communities.