ABOUT 46 Rural Training Centres (RTC) nation-wide will benefit from various of tools and equipment donated by supporters of RTC in New Zealand.
Its the first-ever mass donation by any country for RTC in the country to support vocational training centres.
The container loaded with most of the tools and items arrived few weeks ago and have been unloaded early this week.
Since Tuesday the tools and equipment were distributed amongst all RTCs around the country.
The donation was facilitated by CARITAS New Zealand, said Shirley Mana Project Monitoring Officer (PMO) within the Solomon Islands Association of Vocational Rural Training Centres (SIAVRTC).
The assistance was made possible through a five year partnership program called START between SIAVRTC and CARITAS New Zealand (NZ).
She explained, through CARITAS NZ an appeal was issued in New Zealand which saw people donating some of their unused tools and equipment.
Some of the donated items included power tools, farm&garden tools, clothes, ropes, helmets, radio, carpentry tools, books, chainsaws, sand-powers, furnitures, jacks, machine tools and many more
It was collected by CARITAS staff and packed in a container before being shipped over to Solomon Islands, Ms Mana explained.
“The freight was met by CARITAS,” she said.
Pete Erick representing the Solomon Islands Mission (SIM) SDA education office to oversee the distribution exercise on Monday said a number of staff and students from nearby RTCs around Guadalcanal have been engaged to unload the container and continued with the distribution of tools and equipment to all the 46 RTCs.
Joseph Pitakia SIM Education Authority Official said the donation of the tools, equipment and other materials will help most of the RTC centres around the country.
He said lack of proper power tools and equipment has been a challenge for many RTCs around the country.
Mr Pitakia said the donation will boost the students in their practical exercise who are undertaking carpentry, agriculture and mechanic courses.
He said based on their visit to a number of RTCS most these training centres lack proper tools and equipment for students to do hands on practical exercise.
“So thats when discussion were made on how to secure these tools and equipment for these RTCs.”
He said through the START program local RTC students were sent to New Zealand to do attachments at Polytech institutions in New Zealand.
However, on their return they still lack proper and basic tools and equipment, he added.
“Thats when CARITAS stepped int to source the tools and other equipment from New Zealand,” he said.
Following the arrival of the container the tools and equipment were equally shared to all RTCs according to their specific needs, Mr Pitakia said.
“This should enable our RTCS to have basic tools,” he said.
Mr Pitakia also took the opportunity to thank CARITAS NZ, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade NZ and individuals like David Nunn for supporting this initiative.
Ms Mana on behalf of all the RTCs and SIAVRTC expressed sincere gratitude to all those who have made the donation.
She also acknowledged CARITAS NZ for their overwhelming effort in ensuring the tools are collected, packed and shipped to Honiara.
The project monitoring officer also acknowledged the Volrath family for offering storage of the container where all the tools and equipment were unloaded and unpacked.
She further thanked SIM Education Office for availing the Maranatha Hall which offers a perfect space where all the items were equally distributed.
Since Tuesday, the distribution continued at the Maranatha Hall.
Once all distributions are done, the tools and equipment will be dispatched to the respective training centres around the country.
By MOFFAT MAMU