Caritas Australia in Solomon Islands yesterday farewelled two of its staff in an emotional final get together ceremony.
The farewell ceremony was held at the Honiara head office at Rove, West Honiara to bid farewell Benjamin Breen and Rose who are leaving the organisation.
Benjamin Breen works for Caritas Australia in Solomon Islands as country representative for the pasts three and a half years while Rose worked as an Administration and Financial officer for almost 12 years.
It was an emotional moment for both parties as the staff farewell their colleagues.
Speaking during the event Stephanie Lalor Caritas Australia Team Manager thanked them for their great support and contribution during their time spent in Solomons.
Archbishop Christopher Cardone was also present and in his remarks thanked them for their great work.
“This is not a goodbye for ‘goodbye’ simply means God be with you,” he said.
According to some of the staff Ben and Rose have been helpful around the office works and they will really miss them, especially Breen who will leave Solomon Islands back to his country of origin – Australia.
A Caritas project officer told this paper yesterday said that Breen has been a simple and fearless leader who led the office and achieved so much for the Caritas in the Solomon Islands rural villages and communities.
“Breen has helped us achieve so many projects and creating many projects for Solomon Islands,” he said.
These achievements include; the review of the Caritas 10 years presence in the Solomon Islands, design of a newly ‘Happy, Healthy & Holistic Community Development program that focuses on engaging 6 marginalised communities to lead improvements in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene and improved resilience in the impacts of disasters through disaster risk reduction activities.
It was also highlighted that Breen has also forged strong working relationships with a wide range of stakeholders including the Solomon Islands Government and led the implementation of a new initiative on Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) with UNICEF.
“Along with the SI team, he also helped establish a Community Advisory Group – comprised of a diverse group of Solomon Islanders to oversee and support Caritas Australia’s programs, an approach that focuses on ensuring local expertise and knowledge informs our program designs and reviews,”the officer said.
The farewell program ended with presenting gifts and tokens of appreciation from the Catholic Archdiocese of Honiara, the Caritas Staff in Honiara and the Community Advisory Group.
Meanwhile, Caritas office will have a new Australia representative Dennis Uba who will look after the office for 3 months before formally assigning a new representative to look after the office for the next 2 to 3 years.
Erick Kadmiel will be the new Admin and Finance officer replacing Rose.
By LEOTINA AKWAI