Elderly mothers of North Guadalcanal were treated with a surprise on mother’s day, last Sunday by their Member of Parliament (MP).
More than 160 elderly mothers, most of whom are grandparents and widowers, will become recipients of a 30 Watt solar lighting kit.
Member of Parliament of North Guadalcanal, Hon Samson Maneka said, he decided that the first recipients of constituency projects for the constituency will be for the elderly mothers. And he decided to present the gift on mother’s day.
“Together with my Constituency committee, we have decided to deliver our first project on mother’s day, and treat our disadvantaged mothers in a different way,” Mr Maneka said.
“The solar kits were intended for the elderly and disadvantaged women who for some reason were not able to reach their MP at his home village or in Honiara to seek assistance from me”.
“The solar-powered lighting kits will help these very old mothers who are not able to work in the gardens and raise money to buy kerosene for their lanterns.
“When they have lights in their homes, they will have more free time to do other things,” said Mr Maneka.
The MP said he had decided on doing more for his constituency during his term in Parliament and proposes to distribute the constituency funds in ways that will benefit all of his constituents.
“I want the old, elderly, infirm and disadvantaged constituents to feel that they are also eligible to receive assistance from constituency funds, wherever they are, just like everybody else.
“If the DCC government budget is for the people, then these are the very people we are talking about. The very elderly people should benefit and not be left out not just because they are not able to approach their MP. They should be prioritised by their MP,” said first-time MP for North Guadalcanal.
Mr Maneka also took the time to thank the women as ‘mothers of North Guadalcanal’ in recognition of their responsibilities in raising the children of the constituency, adding he will ensure that they will get the recognition they deserve throughout his term as an MP.
Mr Maneka said his Constituency committee have been carrying out registration of the elderly and infirm in the constituency in the previous weeks to ascertain the distribution of the first 200 solar kits for the constituency.
“We did registration of the elderly constituents of the whole of the constituency, of irrespective of whether they voted me or not,” said the MP, who is also the Minister of Mines and Energy.
The elderly mothers were transported to the MP’s home village of Pitukoli after church services on Sunday. Each of the elderly mothers were garlanded with a sarong (lavalava) and sprayed with perfume and deodorants as they queued to receive Constituency vouchers for the solar kits.
Constituency Development Officer (CDO) Judah Sikua said most of the solar kits will arrive in the country in the coming weeks so the committee is only issuing constituency vouchers to the elderly mothers.
He said, the committee will visit each home to deliver the solar kits to the elderly women as soon as they arrive in the country.
This however, did not dampen the spirits of the elated mothers. Most of the elderly recipients expressed admiration and great appreciation for the MP for the gesture and have celebrated with him long into the evening.
One of the elderly recipient mother said, it was heartening to be accorded special treatment by the MP on mother’s day.
She admitted she has never heard of the mother’s day until lately, and who would on any other mother’s day, would have spent the day quietly at home.
Many youths also participated during the day, many of whom accompanied their elderly relatives, recipients of solar kits. Locals who have attended the day-long event have agreed that day’s event was new.
“I would say that this mother’s day ceremony is the first of its kind in North Guadalcanal, and maybe in the whole country as well,” said Nickson Manearea, a member of the event’s organising committee.
The occasion was celebrated with feasting and religious songs themed to coincide with the mother’s day event and stage performances from youth groups.