SOLOMON Islands Association of Vocational Rural Training (SIAVRTC) centres have lost one of its individual donor partners that have been working in partnership with rural training centres in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
He is Mr Geoffrey Bambford and has been working closely with SIAVRTC who passed away at his home in Adelaide in Australia.
“The late Bambford is a friend that is known to a lot of Solomon islanders especially in working closely with RTCs back in the late 70s,” said SIAVRTC coordinator Mr Billy Mae.
“And with the non-formal education department of MEHRD when he was with the ILO and based in Fiji back in the late 70s and 80s.”
Mr Mae said Mr Bambford has been very instrumental with the work he does and spends time coming to the Solomon Islands to visit RTCs.
“He also works closely with RTCs and church authorities in those days and travel excessively to a lot of training centres as far as Shortland and other remote parts of the country.”
In 2008, upon his retirement he established a partnership with SIAVRTC and assisted RTC graduates with small income projects for empowerment of RTC graduates and also supported up to 35 projects in malaita, Guadalcanal, Makira, Isabel and the Central Province with SIAVRTC.
The second project assisted under Mr Bambford support is the agriculture Tutu Fiji farming concept piloted in Vanuatu and the Solomon.
Two training centres in the Solomon Islands has benefited from the support for farm training concept for the local communities. This year he continues to pledge his support for RTC graduates and the agriculture Tutu projects at APSD RTC Fiu and Divit RTC at Visale.
Mr Mae said SIAVRTC office and RTCs will miss a true friend that has a passion for young Solomon islanders with the little incentives he offers as an individual partner.
Mr Bambford last visit to the Solomon Islands was in April this year to talk with SIAVRTC officials when Honiara was hit by the flash flood.
He was also caught up in the flood when he visited projects at Tambea and Visale, and went to Malaita during the bad weather.
Late Bambford died last week and will be buried this Thursday.
He has spent most of his time in assisting Solomon Islands and Vanuatu RTC developments.
SIAVRTC office in Honiara has extended their condolence and sympathy to late Bambford family in Adelaide on behalf of the family of skills in the Solomons.
By TRIXIE CARTER