Solomon Islands has created history by producing a first-ever visually impaired (blind) person to have graduated with a Bachelor of Law in the South Pacific.
Edwin Babanisi from Shortlands in Western Province and Makira on Thursday graduated from the University of the South Pacific (USP) after years of study at the USP Laucala Campus.
Due to COVID-19, there was no formal graduation ceremony being held in the country this year.
However, a special ceremony was held for Mr. Babanisi at the Solomon Islands USP Campus, Lawson Tama, Thursday.
Student Administrative Services Coordinator, Frances Papabatu said the short ceremony was held because the USP Laucala Campus has requested SI USP to hold a small photoshoot ceremony for Mr. Babanisi.
Mrs. Papabatu said they were pleased to coordinate the small handing over ceremony.
“It is also an opportunity for the University in the Solomon Islands to celebrate with Edwin his accomplishment.
“This is because Edwin is one of the first visually impaired students in the South Pacific and that the University and Solomon Islands are proud of,” Mrs. Papabatu said.
Mr. Babanisi after receiving his Bachelor of Law certificate said his achievement is one of the greatest things that happened to him.
“For the 42 years of my life this is the greatest thing that happens to me, because of what I have achieved today (yesterday),” Mr. Babanisi said.
He added his dream to achieve the profession comes because of perseverance, hard work, and support from his family, friends, Solomon Islands Red Cross, USP Disability Center in Laucala, and the Solomon Islands Government for having the trust in him and sponsored his studies.
“To students in general, if a blind person can achieve what I achieve now, I think everyone can do so.
“To all people living with a disability, your disability will not stop you from achieving your goal,” Mr. Babanisi said.
Wife, Roselyn Babanisi said, she supported her husband all through his journey to achieve his goal and she is happy that her husband has achieved his dream.
SI USP campus officials, Babanisi’s family, and other guests were present to witness the ceremony and congratulated Mr. Babanisi.
By ESTHER NURIA