Sick, disable man puts needs of children first - Solomon Star News

Sick, disable man puts needs of children first

26 May 2015

Dear Editor - Sick, disabled, unemployed and with six young children to raise alone following the death of his wife, it took courage for Nelson Mwaki from Small Malaita to have his plea for help featured on the front page of your newspaper last week.

Despite the desperate situation the story illustrated about Nelson, he very unselfishly was not concerned so much about himself but for the needs of his children; their material needs such as clothing and their requirements for an education. He also offered advice to others to watch their diets and to eat carefully to avoid the risk of getting diabetes from which he is suffering and the reason he had to have a leg amputated.

For a foreigner reading of Nelson’s difficulties one would assume there would be local social services to help but the fact is there are no social services in the Solomon Islands that I am aware of, with the exception of the Red Cross.

Close relatives or ‘wantoks’ have usually been relied upon to give a helping hand to assist each other in time of need.

At a time when food prices have risen, jobs are scarce and unemployment remains high relying on wantoks is no longer the informal social security system it once was.

It is my understanding that his relatives may have given his children some small items of clothing but have not been able to contribute anything else.

Nelson is confined to the National Referral Hospital undergoing medical care and rehabilitation and the duration of his stay in hospital is likely to be prolonged.

With the aid of the Manager of Westpac Bank in Honiara Nelson will be opening a bank account in anticipation of getting some financial assistance for his welfare and that of his children.

He has a telephone and can be reached by calling (677) 7554240.

I do not know Nelson but am touched by his selfless concern for his family, despite his illness and lack of mobility.

I will try to tell his story on my website in the hope that someone, somewhere, will have the heart to help.

Meanwhile, I wish to earnestly request all who read this letter to help Nelson by donating generously whatever you can for his needs are real and your contributions will make a difference.

It might only take a few minutes of your time and with sustained support it could help Nelson’s children to get the schooling and education they surely deserve.

Frank Short