IN just a week into 2018, the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) Trust Board Inc. was officially given the Perpetual Estate (PE) Title for a land in Central Malaita, earmarked for the new ACOM Secondary School.
A total area of approximately 38.08 hectares of land was allocated.
“This is indeed a great relief, knowing very well the challenges and difficulties involved, especially when dealing with land in Malaita,” the Diocesan Bishop of Malaita, Rt. Rev. Sam Sahu, said.
“For us to get this title is almost a miracle in itself, and for this, I would like to sincerely thank the chiefs and traditional owners of Ilikata/Tolokwasu for allowing their land for education development in this regard,” the Bishop added.
Just over six months ago, land acquisition process began after prior consultations with the land owners were made.
After completing the process and having satisfied all legal requirements, Cadastral survey work went ahead, followed by registration with the Commissioner of Lands and Registrar of Titles.
More importantly, the whole process began with a series of awareness meetings to educate landowners on the importance of the project and the benefits this will have on the community.
Chiefs from each of the tribal group, along with the survey team, were involved in identifying common boundary marks.
Significantly, this is to avoid trespassing into traditional tabu sites.
With the amount of land available, it is anticipated that the new Secondary School should be able to achieve self-reliance and self-support, from the very beginning.
“Given the current development trend in the province, this school project has received overwhelming support from Malaitans (both local and overseas), and from our friends and partners in mission from abroad,” the Diocesan Secretary of Malaita Diocese, Anthony Maelasi, echoed.
In the meantime, the National Government, through the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development has been fully informed of this development and stands ready to support the Church with this project.
This is a huge undertaking, and partnership and collaboration between the Church, Government, and Donor partners, both local and overseas, is crucially important.
The ACOM will continue to work in partnership with the Government (both National and Provincial Governments), and the Land Owners, in Education Development in the country.
“We have received positive feedback from the MEHRD that this will be supported by the current Government beginning this year onwards, and we are all excited about it,” the Education Secretary of ACOM, Desmond Waita, said.
In an earlier meeting with the Premier of the Malaita Provincial Government, Peter Ramohia has also expressed his support to ACOM and the Diocese.
“Just tell us how and where we can support, and the Malaita Provincial Government is prepared to support the Church,” the premier said.
“Therefore I am appealing to all Malaitans and Anglicans in particular to support this project for the well being of our children and young people in Malaita and Solomon Islands,” the Bishop reiterated.
This project, from the very beginning, has been well covered in prayer, by fellow Solomon Islanders and friends abroad.
A name for the secondary school will soon be made by the Diocese in consultation with the ACOM Education Secretary and the Archbishop of Melanesia.