Security in the Solomon Islands: Margret’s story

Margret, is a teacher at a vocational school for deaf students in the Solomon Islands. She was born deaf so she knows the challenges it poses to education and employment.  

The school faced water shortages for about half the year. Staff and students would walk for up to half an hour to collect water for drinking, cooking, washing and growing vegetables. Then in April 2020, amidst the threat of COVID-19, Tropical Cyclone Harold struck, damaging school buildings and its vegetable garden.  

With Caritas Australia’s support, Margret’s school installed eight large water tanks and provided cyclone-proof materials to repair the damage. It also helped the school to implement COVID-19 prevention measures, providing fabric for students to make face masks.

Margret wearing a face mask made by the students as part of their training and COVID-19 prevention measures at the San Isidro Care Centre in the Solomon Islands. Photo credit: Neil Nuia

Margret’s school now has enough safe water to supply the school’s population of 150 and has the capacity to cater for more students. It plans to boost food security, by increasing its agricultural production. This will help improve nutrition and boost the school’s income, while building resilience to future disasters. 

Margret washes dishes from a water tank next to her house at the San Isidro Care Centre in the Solomon Islands. Photo credit: Neil Nuia

Margret hopes that the school can aspire to ‘Be More’. 

“I am proud that our school community works together with Caritas Australia as our partner in ensuring that we live in a healthier environment,” Margret says. 

Your support this Lent is lifesaving for people experiencing poverty, disability and disaster. Please help more people like Margret to inspire and protect their vulnerable students.