SICCI donates $12,100 San IsidroTraining Centre
A team from San Isidoro Care Centre on West Guadalcanal were at the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) Wednesday 16th July, for the official hand over of a cheque donation from the Chamber. The San Isidoro team was led by Director, Brother George Vanderzant of Netherlands, and included the school’s Head Girl, Lilly Sione, a male student rep and teacher rep who interpreted the discussions for the student representatives using sign language, and Chairlady, Mrs Desima Regatule.
Before the donation was handed over, Brother George clarified to the SICCI team that San Isidoro Care Centre changed its name to San Isidoro Training Centre, after Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo made his very first visit to the Centre last year and saw how the Centre was performing. He suggested that the name be changed to San Isidoro Training Centre.
Brother George explained that the Centre teaches life skills, English, Maths, Christian Education, Arts, Agriculture, Woodwork as well as building/carpentry, and the students are given practical experience as well. He highlighted that although deaf, dumb or mute, the students of this school play sports and do other things like all other normal children and young people do.
Handing over SICCI’s cheque donation of $12,100, Vice Chairman of SICCI’s Executive Board, Jeremy Jay Bartlett explained that this SICCI donation comes from an Auction of 2 new products of Solomon Telekom – an i-phone 5 and a Samsung Galaxy (S-4) held at a SICCI Business After-5 event which was jointly sponsored by Solomon Telekom and Solomon Oceanic Cable Company (SOCC). The Vice Chairman sincerely thanked Solomon Telekom for its donation of the two mobile phones for the auction.
The donation was received by Lilly Sione, who is the Head Girl of San Isidoro and has been at this school for the past four years, after graduating from the Special Education Centre of Red Cross.
Asked what they plan to do with the donation, Brother George replied that the school needs a netball court for the girls because this time last year, the Sahalu Ward started competition with 34 teams and the San Isidoro girls participated. He said when the team started their first game, people laughed because they are hardly seen in these competitions, but after their first game, where they did very well with big score margins, they got the respect of the spectators, and ended up winning the Sahalu Ward tournament cup. The SICCI team learned that the team has won every game they have played with only one or two draws. The team also learned that except for Fa’a, the popular basketball player, these children are not always known or recognized until they come together as a team. Brother George said San Isidoro therefore had an exposure at the recent trade expo, where the general public saw them as a group.
In receiving the donation, Head Girl Lilly Sione, sincerely thanked the Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the school for the generous donation and said that the children are very happy and will always remember those that made the donation when they are out there, playing in the basketball courts which the donation helped them to build. Using sign language which was interpreted by the teacher rep, she said, “we want to practice well and make a good team for the future so that people will be able to watch and enjoy our games.”
Chairlady Desima said people do not usually go to the Care Centre to know what they are actually doing and to know what they need, and therefore encouraged the Honiara public to take just a half hour drive westward to visit the Centre. She said their participation in the recent trade expo boosted the children’s confidence and by the end of the week, they had given out fifty (50) applications.
Mrs Regatule explained that her role as Chairlady is voluntary and that she naturally became a supporter of the Centre through her daughter, Margaret Anilaloga, who is among these children with disabilities. However, Margaret is not handicapped by her deafness because she has taught sign language to all other teachers of the school who are normal adults.
Margaret received her training in Vanga Teachers Training College and is the only staff with disability in San Isidoro Training Centre. Mrs Regatule says their long term plan and vision is reaching out to the provinces to encourage families of children with disabilities to bring them to San Isidoro for training so that they can be fully equipped to go back and contribute to their families and communities.
The school can be contacted through Brother George on mobile 7812009.