IN March 2015, I launched my personal website – www.solomonislandsinfocus.com that I painstakingly designed and funded for the sole purpose of aiding good causes in the Solomon Islands with an emphasis on illustrating locally made wooden carvings and artefacts, but with a more serious focus on helping the SI MOHMS and the NRH in particular.
In launching the website I had no political motives or affiliations and how could I since I left the Solomons in July 1999.
My leaving was premature, as anyone whom has read my book ‘Policing a Clash of Cultures’ will understand, but having sworn an oath of office to serve the Solomon Islands in 1997 I felt, and still do, that I have a moral obligation to fulfil to the people of the Solomons by helping out in whatever way I can, whether by encouragement, tangible support, or simply expressing appreciation and thanks to the many who often go unrecognised for the help they give to others.
My early work in pursuing charitable causes brought me into contact with a New Zealand based charitable trust, ‘Take My Hands,’ based in Auckland.
I had discovered that this charity was engaged in shipping donated but surplus medical equipment and medical supplies to several regional countries, including Nepal, Pakistan and Fiji.
It occurred to me that I might get similar help for the MOHMS in the Solomons and I entered into communication with the organization and its principal director, Ms Janette Searle.
Over time, I was instrumental in getting the charity and the MOHMS/NRH to enter into a formal MOU for regular shipments of 20 ft containers of supplies much needed by the NRH in particular.
The latest container, one of several in the past, arrived in Honiara just prior to the 10 July this year but it has remained at the SIPA wharf because, as I understand the situation, the Ministry of Finance has not made available the necessary funds for the NRH to uplift the container and put the contents to use, albeit much needed.
Prior to negotiating for a formal MOU with the parties I have mentioned, I sought help locally by writing to the media for a donation to help freight a container of needs I had ascertained were required by the SIDT, the HOH charity, the Association for Persons with Disabilities and Women’s’ Refuge Centres.
I was contacted by Mr J Sy on behalf of the SFA and who donated in excess of NZ$12,000 directly to TMH in New Zealand to arrange for the shipment of the supplies that had been requested by the NGO’s I have mentioned.
That container is still to be freighted but TMH told me today (Wednesday, 30 August 2017) that much of the requested items, including furniture, clothing, beds and mobility equipment are already in TMH’s warehouse and a sailing date is being arranged.
TMH’s Director, Ms Searle, explained to me that following the terrible earthquake which occurred in Nepal the donated supplies collected for the Solomon Islands NGOs had to be diverted on humanitarian grounds.
I am aware that there has been some local media reports recently concerning alleged politically motivated donations of funds and the supply of goods and materials, including a truck, to the HOH charity based on Malaita, by the SFA but I challenge anyone to claim that the help I received to provide much needed help for the local NGO’s, or the NRH was in any way motivated by politics.
Sometimes it is best that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones, especially if ignorant of all the facts about which they allege things.