First ever child care centre opens in Noro


A first ever Child Day Care Centre has officially opened in the country, congratulations to Soltuna and Strongim Bisnis Programme for the huge achievement.

Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, His Excellency Rod Hilton, Premier of Western Province, Billy Veo, Western Provincial Executive, other stakeholders and officials from Soltuna witnessed the opening of the SOLTUNA Pikinini Kea Haus yesterday.

GM of Soltuna Mr Jim, Premier Veo and H.E Hilton cut the cake to mark the great achievement.

In her speech, Soltuna’s Human Resource Manager, Bella Simiha said the facility was made possible through support from the Australian Government under the Strongim Bisnis Programme.

She said the main idea prompting the establishment of the facility was to address absenteeism.

“As a company we see lots of women faced challenges when comes to family commitments, especially when their children are sick.

“We also realised that women who come out from maternity find it difficult to choose between their job and newborn baby.

“After much discussions, Soltuna Management see the need to establish this facility to support our women,” Simiha said.

Children sleeping while Day Care officers on duty looks on.

She said the journey to complete the facility was very difficult but she is happy that the facility is up and running.

Simiha said the facility will be managed by 10 staff who have been trained to execute the needed job.

She acknowledges those who contributed one way or the other towards the completion of the project.

“I want to thank the Australian Government for the funding, constructors who renovate the building and also Soltuna Management for the support towards this project,” Simiha said.

Strongim Bisnis Business Advisor, Zefi Keritina said Strongim Binis is a programme funded by the Government of Australian dedicated to promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Solomon Islands.

She said the facility is a result of a partnership sealed between Soltuna and Strongim Binis in May 2021.

Keritina said the project aimed at establishing a day care center for the employees of Soltuna to improve attendance, working condition, and access to free high quality child care.

“Long-term goal is to boost productivity and profitability for business operating on a large scale and at the same time reduces the burden of child care on working mothers and to improve women economic empowerment in workplace,” she said.

Officers who worked at the Soltuna Pikinini Kea Haus.

Keritina said Strongim Binis is proud to provide support and resources to the child care facility which includes hiring a mentor to build Soltuna’s capacity to run the center.

Capacity building program includes health care and early childhood education and supporting the production of child care resources.

She said the project will support the lives of over 300 hundred women working at Soltuna

“We are thrilled to be part of this innovative project that will not only benefit the employees of Soltuna but also serves as a model for other business to follow,” Keritina said.

General Manager of Soltuna, Jim Alexander said the facility is a product of ideas and strong ambition which started six years ago.

He acknowledges the committee and those who drive the project to its completion.

Alexander said absenteeism has raised to 10 percent and it has affected the production of the company.

He said the dream is to reduce absenteeism to the lowest number as possible.

“From business point of view, the child care center is a very important investment as more people will work and production will improve,” Alexander said.

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