THE Savo and Russell Islands People’s Empowerment Network (SRIPEN) has successfully held a Leaders Summit in Pokilo Village, Savo Island on November 10, 2018 with the theme: “Together We Can Do More” Dusaka in Savo dialect and Me Sangine in Russells language.
This is a historic event in Savo Island where indigenous Savoans with various expertise came together under the banner of SRIPEN to host a leaders summit, coincides with the official launching of the network, Savo and Russell Islands Peoples Empowerment Network (SRIPEN).
Present at the meeting were representative from Savo House of Chiefs, leaders from 13 communities within Savo Island, church leaders, teachers, youth and women representatives and community elders. The meeting recorded more than 100 participants.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Chief John William Jeremiah a representative from the Savo House of Chiefs, welcomes SRIPEN team to the shores of Savo and said it is indeed an honour to receive such an event.
“Truly an open door opportunity for islanders to embrace and urge everyone who is present to make good use of this opportunity and network,” he added.
George Pego, the president of SRIPEN, in his introductory speech informs the participants that, “SRIPEN is here to inform and educate us on key issues affecting us, how we should exercise our leadership roles effectively and make conformed decisions to help communities and more importantly what we can do together to achieve the future we want for us, our children and our grandchildren.”
The summit is special and goes down in history especially because it is facilitated by indigenous who are senior government officials and prominent leaders with expertise from different fields with the strong support by a pool of resource personnel who voluntarily commit their time and resources in reaching out to the grassroot.
Key speakers during the summit were, George Pego Director of Nursing MHMS, who presented on People Centred Development. George Saemane, an educationist and the current principal of Florence Young Christian School who introduced SRIPEN and raise awareness on cultural leadership perspective. Marisa Pepa Galo, Director Parliament Education Unit, Solomon Islands National Parliament presented on “Know your Parliament” theme, followed by Francisca Tamu, CEO Acting Media Association of Solomon Islands who advocated briefly on the election phase “omission and objection” and “election offences” according to the Electoral Act. Jacob Ghala, Director Industrial Development Divison was the final speaker who did a session on small business opportunities for rural people through the government and other financial institution.
Overall it has been an informative session with lots of questions and comments raised according to Richard Ben Duva a host organiser. “All participants stayed all through the program since the beginning of the session until the end, an indication that people are so much interested in the information been disseminated today,” he stated.
Many participants have expressed their gratitude towards SRIPEN for the initiative they have taken.
“The sessions were very educational and enlightening however it could be more impactful if sessions continued for two days, according to Tom Tango a participant. Similar sentiments were shared by others.
SRIPEN President on behalf of the travelling team thanked all individual members who have generously supported in one way or another. Through this support we were able to successfully accomplish the purpose of the trip on the shores of Savo Island.