Maitland Christian School students are helping their sister school in the Solomon Islands

HELPING: These Maitland Christian School students are helping their peers in the Solomon Islands.
HELPING: These Maitland Christian School students are helping their peers in the Solomon Islands.

Maitland Christian School students are about to jet off to the Solomon Islands to help their peers.

The students will leave on Thursday to visit their sister school, Justus Ganifiri Community High School, which is in the village of Nafinua on the eastern side of the island of Malaita.

They will fly to Brisbane and then to Honiara before taking a six-hour boat ride to Auki, which is the capital of Malaita.

HELPING: These Maitland Christian School students are helping their peers in the Solomon Islands.

HELPING: These Maitland Christian School students are helping their peers in the Solomon Islands.

Then a five-hour 4WD truck ride will take them to the Nafiuna community. 

The students, principal Geoff Peet and four teachers, will get to work helping to improve the facilities at the school.

“It really is a journey to another world,” Mr Peet said.

“An amazing experience of learning, giving and sharing with a people who have a richness that we with all of our western wealth don’t seem to be able to capture.”

The Maitland group will bring a range of gifts for the school including six laptops, a new photocopier and laser printer, teaching resources and sports equipment.

They will then get to work upgrading the school’s solar power system, so it can run a printer, and hold a Days for Girls workshop for teenage girls in the village.

The workshop will help the girls to build their self-esteem and confidence, and empower them. 

“We donated a generator to the school last year,” Mr Peet said.

“There is no permanent electricity anywhere near the village, with most houses having a simple solar light at best.”

Mr Peet and the teachers will run some teaching and learning seminars to help the school’s teachers update their skills.

They will also train teachers in a phonics based approach to learning to read, thanks to the generous donation of a Mini-Lit kit. 

Mr Peet said the school donated four laptops when a group of students and teachers visited in 2016 and the new photocopier and laser printer would allow the school to print exams for the students to complete. 

The group will also spend time interacting with the students through music, drama, sport, craft and other activities.