A delegation of six federal MPs and senators travelled to the Solomon Islands last week to gain first-hand experience of Australian aid in action. Source: Caritas Australia.
The cross-party group of parliamentarians was able to witness how local communities are dealing with the impact of inequality, climate change and natural disasters.
Vulnerable communities are still facing the consequences of Cyclone Harold, which hit the island in 2020, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The San Isidro Care Centre and the DIVIT Rural Training Centre, with support from Caritas Australia Solomon Islands, have helped hundreds of people gain new skills through gender and disability inclusion, vocational training, and disaster risk reduction training workshops.
“When a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck the Solomon Islands last year, one of the teachers who participated in Caritas Australia’s program shared the success of the project, acknowledging that her students immediately knew how to respond,” said Caritas Australia’s Dennis Uba.
Although the Solomon Islands is surrounded by water, it still experiences drought and water shortages. About 40 per cent of people in rural areas do not have access to basic drinking water, which can lead to the spread of communicable diseases like cholera and typhoid.
With support from Caritas Australia Solomon Islands, water tanks and rainwater harvesting systems were installed at the San Isidro School and the DIVIT Rural Training Centre to improve sanitation and food security for local communities for years to come.
The trip was part of the Australian Regional Leadership Initiative delivered by Save the Children Australia in collaboration with the office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and NGOs.
Australian politicians visit Caritas Australia’s program in the Solomon Islands (Caritas Australia)