IN 2005, an energetic and happy woman came to Guadalcanal with a group of Australian secondary students from Brisbane to experience going on a Christian mission.
While she was in Namoraoni, she was asked to teach a group of village women to read.
This experience showed her how much the women wanted to learn and were ready, willing and able to do so.
Inspired by this one event, Kim Whitmore dedicated 10 more years of her life to come to the Solomon Islands to teach Guadalcanal villagers, children, youth and adults.
This she did during her school break in September leading other volunteers from Brisbane.
After eight years, she created two workbooks that she knew would suit the people in the villages, but these turned out to benefit school children, secondary students and teachers, also.
Kim felt that she was being called to be here working with the people in the rural communities whom she has come to love so much.
Last year, she was inspired to inform her school that she would be taking a year’s absence to remain in the Solomons and teach reading.
Since she was the literacy learning specialist for primary and secondary students, her school was very sad to see her leave.
What eased their feelings was the fact that she would be returning to Brisbane to teach in 2016.
All her service has been done out of her great commitment to and love of learning for all people.
She has mainly funded her own trips, workbooks and materials that are used in her trainings and the transport to get to the villages.
Her team from Australia has also supported her endeavours.
The Guadalcanal Provincial Government is consulting with Kim as to where the areas of greatest need are.
Recently, teachers from Betivatu requested that she come and teach primary and secondary students phonics and comprehension skills.
This proved to be a great success with the teachers staying in the classes to learn during the morning and afternoon sessions.
When Kim teaches, you can hear laughter and joyful talking.
Students, teachers and villagers reproduce English sounds by using games and hand actions.
This playful atmosphere creates a positive and powerful learning experience. Because of all this, the requests from Education Authorities, schools and communities are increasing.
To meet this demand, Kim is now drawing on assistance from the locals who were trained by her over the past 10 years and who have remained teaching in their own communities.
Her experience of 20 plus years as a teacher, her joy of inspiring others to share their skills and her great commitment to help others learn to read is an over-powering motivator that pushes her forward with love in her heart for others.
She knows that literacy is the road to human progress and development and the means through which every man, woman and child can realise his or her full potential.
Service + Sacrifice = Success