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I left the Solomon Islands in mid-July 1999 after completing my two-year contract with the Solomon Islands government.
Since that time I given my time to trying to help good causes in the Solomon Islands, supporting the equipment needs of the National Referral Hospital (NRH) through my partner charity in New Zealand, ‘Take My Hands,’ but also lending encouragement to causes such as reconciliation, national unity, gender equality, work opportunities, youth affairs, education, music appreciation, bio-diversity, medical services, especially in regard to rural health needs and facilities, agriculture enterprise, crafts promotion, climate change, adaptation measures and many other worthy causes that have been related to welfare and the needs of the people.
To carry out my tasks, I have often made appeals for direct donations to ‘Take My Hands’ and such appeals have been circulated through media outlets in the Solomon Islands and beyond, using my website – www.solomonislandsinfocus.com to get my appeals out.
I would like to think that what I have sought to achieve since leaving the Solomon Islands, now 22 years ago, has been of some benefit and I have always appreciated and publically thanked those organizations, private citizens and community groups that have so generously helped in those causes I saw as worthy to the people
Despite many, many appeals, it has often been the case that the Solomon Islands Forest Association (FSA) was the only body to volunteer support and contribute direct financial donations to my partner charity, ‘Take My Hands’ and as a consequence the MOHS received many, many hospital beds and other equipment plus medical supplies that would not otherwise have been possible.
Likewise, the charity, Hearts of Hope HOH) received clothing and footwear with SFA donations.
There has arisen some criticism today of the donations the SFA has made to aid the causes I have highlighted, and linked the SFA to activity and practices in the political context at happening at home.
Let me make it clear I believe the independent nature of the charitable sector work I have always sought to achieve is fundamental to the importance of society in the Solomon Islands and I would hope it has been valued by some.
My guiding principle is influenced by charity law in terms of campaigning and not influenced by politics.
Whatever certain individuals might wish to raise about the SFA’s voluntary donations, just let me end by saying such donations have helped many people and the equipment obtained by such help continues to be of service and will do so for years to come.