ON Wednesday, 8 September, hundreds of newly literate people gathered at Foubaba Community School in West Kwaio, to celebrate International Literacy Day.
The day’s activities were organized by the Siesie Ward Literacy Programme.
The programme, which has been a special project of LASI (Literacy Association of Solomon Islands) since 2017, includes village communities from Sinasu to Loulana.
Arriving by truck and by foot, literacy students and teachers who have been involved in the literacy initiative arrived at Foubaba Community High School to celebrate the completion of literacy classes in Kwaio, Pijin and English.
When the programme was ready to begin, classes gathered in groups to form a parade lead by the Mao Dancers from Siubongi Village.
The young boys in traditional Kwaio dress sang and danced the proud literacy students into the gathering place.
The National Coordinator of LASI (Literacy Association of Solomon Islands), Priscilla Maeniuta and Michael Saeni, LASI Training Coordinator, were special guests at the event.
Mrs Maeniuta praised the students for their hard work in completing the courses and encouraged them to continue their education and skills training.
She also encouraged the parents who have learned to read, to ensure that their own children learn to read and write and in that way they can help break the chain of illiteracy in Solomon Islands.
Michael Saeni thanked the teachers and students for their efforts and hard work and congratulated them on their achievement.
He also thanked Ludavic Mo’osumae, Community Literacy Coordinator for Siesie Ward, and the organizing committee for the International Literacy Day.
The Director of LASI, Priscilla Maeniuta and Michael Saeni, LASI Training Coordinator werespecial guests at the event.
Also in attendance were Blondie Akwasia and Hilda Waitahi from COESI (Coalition forEducation Solomon Islands).
The LASI staff is grateful for the support of Ezekiel Obimae ,the principal of Foubaba Community School.
Mr Obimae in his address said he was pleased to see the literacy programme in the community and pledged his ongoing support.
He said that as parents have learned to read and write, it has had a positive impact on students in school.
The highlight of the programme was the awarding of certificates to the students.
More than 150 students; women, men and children proudly went forward to receive their certificates as their names were called.
Each community literacy class had prepared a short demonstration of their newly acquired skills.
Following the programme, Francis Maekoto and Andrew Steele from Malaita Island Scripture Use had Kwaio New Testaments and Dauru Agorua Nanaua Falafala Na God Gani Mai Gani, Kwaio Bible story book for sale.
Some of the literacy students were very pleased to purchase them so they can put their new skills to use.