Earlier this month, MAMA invited Ms Leigh Pirie, our project partner from the Solomon Islands, to attend our Management Committee meeting to provide an update on the project at Mercy School in Honiara.
It was inspiring to listen to Leigh, who has been instrumental in managing the project. It was obvious from her stories that one of the fundamental ingredients for the project’s success has been the engagement with the Burns Creek community at every step. From the employment of local builders and labourers, through to constant discussions with parents and community leaders to ascertain the needs of the school.
The school is very much indebted to and highly appreciates and acknowledges the financial support and assistance provided by Make A Mark Australia. Without Leigh and MAMA the school may not have benefitted and become what it is today.
Julia Ha’aute, ECE Coordinator
Leigh provided some really useful observations and feedback, including some thoughts on how to streamline processes for future projects.
From the seed of MAMA’s initial support, a new school campus has grown. One of the enduring legacies of MAMA’s contribution has been that it validated the existence of the school which has subsequently led to further support and government recognition (which had previously been lacking or non-existent). MAMA’s funding of the first two new classrooms led to:
- the construction of an additional classroom funded by school fees;
- the construction of another classroom funded by Tong’s Hardware, a local construction company;
- the Ministry of Education, Human Resource and Development (MEHRD) recognising the development of the school and including it in its national library program, leading to the building of a new government funded school library;
- MEHRD approving funds for a new double story three-classroom building, and supporting the construction of a new five-classroom building; and
- a local commercial enterprise funding a new ablution block.
Early success with the MAMA-funded project initiated a wave of confidence in the school’s ability to successfully manage funds and projects.
MAMA is thrilled to have supported the Mercy School, and in particular, assist in providing a safe, secure and well-resourced learning environment for the children of Burns Creek.