Selwyn College got an upgrade to their market facility with the help of the Member of Parliament for Northwest Guadalcanal, Hon. Bodo Dettke and Oxfam in the Pacific.
The new facilities were handed over to the school on Saturday in an exciting event that involved over 600 Selwyn College students who turned up to welcome the support.
The new market facility includes a new building to house the market vendors and a 5,000-litre water tank supplied handwash station – aimed to improve market users’ hygiene practices as a COVID-19 health response measure.
The market’s rehabilitation was made after the school, located in Northwest Guadalcanal, reached out for the support of Hon. Dettke and a timely arrival of Oxfam’s Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP) COVID-19 Response Program.
The AHP COVID-19 response is an ongoing an Australian Government-funded project activity by Oxfam, targeting market sites in Guadalcanal.
“This joint response by Hon Dettke and Oxfam is a very timely blessing for us,” says Selwyn College School Principal, Fr. Davidson Ngwaeramo.
He said Selwyn College recently obtained approval by Guadalcanal Province authorities to rebuild the market that was no longer in use due to its deteriorated state.
“It has been a long-time desire to improve the market facilities so that nearby communities, especially the local women as well as our staff can sell their garden produces,” the principal said.
Selwyn College is a mission boarding school operated by the Anglican Church of Melanesia and is considered amongst the country’s top senior secondary education institutes.
During the handover Fr. Davidson described the event as a historic one for Selwyn College, to have a proper market facility and a handwash station.
Hon. Dettke called on the students and staff of Selwyn College to look after the facilities and fully utilise the opportunity to sell their produces.
The Parliamentarian also provided grass cutters which he said can be used to maintain the market facility area.
“Let’s not forget our partners in this achievement, under the Australian aid program. We are thankful to their support in helping us with the little resources that we have – in the country’s biggest constituency which is Northwest Guadalcanal,” Hon. Dettke said.
The AHP COVID-19 Activation response is a regional multi-partnership program delivered in the Solomon Islands by NGO partners Oxfam, Save The Children, World Vision, Plan International, CAN DO / Caritas and Live & Learn.