Caritas works with both Church and community partners in Solomon Islands to respond to key needs across the Education sector, as well as water and sanitation needs.
START (Strengthening Technical and Agricultural Rural Training)
In 2014, we began a five-year programme to strengthen Rural Training Centres (RTCs) in the Solomons, in partnership with the New Zealand Aid Programme, which contributes $4 for every $1 provided by Caritas. RTCs are vocational tertiary training centres that provide technical and mechanical skills for young people to earn a living in a country with high youth unemployment and a fast-growing young population.
The Strengthening Technical and Agricultural Rural Training (START) programme is the first of its kind for us, as it goes beyond the provision of funds to sharing knowledge and experience in technical and agricultural areas in which New Zealand has a lot of expertise.
For the first time, Caritas is partnering with other NZ-based organisations in delivering an aid programme. Our partners include Wintec (Waikato Institute of Technology), Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre, Learn.fast Pacific and the Salvation Army New Zealand.
The main goals of the START programme are to:
- Upskill instructors in the fields of agriculture, mechanics and carpentry
- Deliver management and administration training courses for RTC administrators
- Improve RTC workshops and purchase equipment
- Run adult numeracy and budgeting training courses for RTC staff and local community members
- Conduct research on the linkages between RTCs, the community and the local economy
Wind-Solar Hybrid Renewable Energy Generation
In an exciting first for Caritas, and in response to findings from our 2014 Pacific Environment Report, we are partnering with Dunedin-based firm, Powerhouse Wind. Powerhouse Wind have developed an innovative, single-blade wind turbine and we are working together to build a test turbine for installation at the Bishop Koete Rural Training Centre in Solomon Islands.
A successful renewable energy solution will not only have environmental benefits, but will also help local schools, training centres, clinics and communities reduce the very high prices they currently spend on diesel generators.
Mufti Mania fundraising for Catholic Primary School in Gizo, Solomon Islands
Each year Caritas in partnership with the New Zealand Catholic Primary Principals' Association (NZCPPA) run a Mufti Mania day across all our New Zealand Catholic Primary Schools to raise funds for young people’s education in the Pacific. In 2016 we raised funds for the St John Bosco Primary in Gizo Diocese, Western Province. Funds will be used to construct new toilets and other building repairs.
El Nino (2015/2016) Water Shortage Mitigation - Dioceses of Auki and Gizo
Caritas is partnered with the Catholic Dioceses of Auki and Gizo to deliver water, sanitation and health (WASH) solutions for parish communities around the diocese. These included water pumps, wells, tanks and rainwater harvesting systems. Support for this work was also received from the NZ Aid Programme. Response work to this emergency is ongoing.