The Iumi Tugeda Helpem Solomon Islands Def Comuniti project launched in Solomon Islands on 31st Aug, 2022, between Local and international partners to improve access to quality education for deaf communities.
Archdiocese of Honiara, Education Authority which operates San Isidro Care Centre and School for the Deaf, will deliver the project in partnership with the Australian Catholic University. Australia and New Zealand have provided funding under the Education Sector Support Program (ESSP) NGO Grants Program, which is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD).
The ESSP 2020-2023 is a partnership between the governments of Solomon Islands, Australia and New Zealand to improve access to quality basic education for all children in Solomon Islands.
Archbishop Christopher Cardone OP, Archbishop of Honiara during his opening remark acknowledges the Marists Missionaries and Especially SM Brother George who founded the school and also the international aid.
“San Isidro is a school for the handicapped -most hearing impaired and those unable to speak”.
“It is a vital ministry of the Catholic Archdiocese of Honiara, which was founded by the late SM Marist Brother George and is wonderfully run now by the SMSM Marist Sisters”.
This new program which is sponsored by the Australian Catholic University with direct funding by Australian and New Zealand Government Aid, is a huge honor for the Catholic Church to sponsor this beautiful place”. He said.
Dr. Mellita Jones, who led the project is an associate professor at ACU, said it is encouraged for relatives of deaf children and all Solomon islands community must learn to sign.
“This is a great opportunity for all ages to learn the sign language once the trainees travel to communities”.
Catholic Education Secretary Modesta Hasiau, acknowledges the partnering partners in this project, the Archbishop, the Marist for the continuing support in this institution and stated the importance in this project.
“The deaf community has always been in isolate in their communities and our Teachers Technical does not address the need”.
“Due to the limited qualified teachers. This project is working on to fill the gap in that area as well.”
The launching was held at San Isidro at Aruligo, West Guadalcanal in the presence of Archbishop Christopher Cardone OP, Dr Franco Rodie, Permanent Secretary MEHRD, Ms Kate Bradlow, New Zealand Deputy High Commissioner, Ms Samantha Vallance, First Secretary Education at the Australian High Commission, Dr. Melita, ACU, Ms. Modesta Hasiau, Cartholic Education Secretary, School Principal Sr. Mariah Fe, Stuff and Student of the San Isidro.
– Catholic Communications