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SOLOMON ISLANDS: School gains reliable power

Don Bosco Rural Training Center

Don Bosco Rural Training Center receives support from Australia


(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Rural Training Center, located in Tetere Bay in the Solomon Islands, has received a 5KVA generator and two barrels of diesel thanks to support from the Australian government, according to an article in the Solomon Star. The donation will enhance the school’s business operations and generate power for staff and students. It will also enable students to use laptops recently provided by the Australia Pacific Training Coalition.

The generator and diesel donation is part of the partnership between the Australia Pacific Training Coalition and Don Bosco Rural Training Center, according to the article. The coalition has already donated the laptops, agricultural equipment, agribusiness equipment and a vehicle. The article notes that these contributions aim to strengthen the delivery of technical and vocational education and training programs at the school.

In the article, Father Peter Van, principal, expressed gratitude for the Australian government’s support. He said, “This kind support will directly address our need for a reliable power source to operate our training effectively. Our current power supply was insufficient to run our equipment and support crucial administrative tasks.”

The article also reported that Abigail Chang, Australia Pacific Training Coalition’s country director for Solomon Islands and Kiribati, noted, “Our collaboration began in 2020 and has steadily strengthened. We are committed to working together to deliver high-quality skills development programs in Solomon Islands.”

The Don Bosco Rural Training Center is working to bring educational and workforce development opportunities to poor youth in rural areas. Programs at the center help youth gain a basic education as well as the vocational or technical skills needed to find and retain employment.

More than 200 young men and women are enrolled at the school to learn farming and other high-demand trades. Courses are offered in planting and care of crops such as rice, corn, vegetables, root crops and fruit trees, as well as in basic fish farming and forestry. There are also courses in basic mechanics, carpentry, electrical work, computer skills and dressmaking. In addition, literacy and music classes are available in the evening.

The Solomon Star stressed Australia’s commitment to providing quality vocational education and training across the Solomon Islands saying, “With a strong focus on skills development, both institutions aim to empower young individuals and communities, fostering sustainable growth and prosperity.”

About 12.7% of the population of the Solomon Islands lives below the poverty line. Roughly 20-25% of youth in the country never attend primary school with 30% of those attending never completing. Limited access to education and an adult literacy rate of less than 35% perpetuate the cycle of poverty from generation to generation.

Eighty-four percent of Solomon Islanders reside in rural areas and rely on subsistence farming for their livelihoods. Access to health care and other social services is very limited, and the poor to non-existent access to reliable transport, electricity and telecommunications infrastructure compounds already challenging economic conditions. With the majority of youth living in remote areas with limited educational and employment prospects, overcoming poverty is an uphill battle.



ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)

Salesian Missions – Solomon Islands

Solomon Star – Australia Provides power boost for Don Bosco Tetere Rural Training Centre

UNICEF – Solomon Islands

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