Solomon Islands villagers welcome donations (Article from

On January 14, 2009 by admin

enjoying a swim with the kids

enjoying a swim with the kids

IT started as an online experiment to see if we could raise enough money to make a difference for needy kids in one tiny jungle village.

And thanks to your generosity the reality far exceeded expectations with your donations smashing through the $10,000 target to give the children of Fote Village a real world Christmas they will never forget.

The team at’s partners Little and LOUD have just returned from the Solomon Islands where they were dazzled by a traditional village welcome and shared the joy with the kids in a special Christmas feast of fish, rice and taro.

In pictures: Take the journey to Fote Village

Little and LOUD operations director Rhoda Lazo said despite fighting bouts of malaria and island flu they were able to turn our online Christmas dreams into reality for some very happy children as they unveiled gifts including hula hoops, footballs and crayons.

“Before we could even put our bags down we had a huge fanfare of panpipes with the kids and the whole community waiting for us,” Ms Lazo said.

“The kids were really happy to see us – they had huge smiles and they gave us lais (traditional flower necklaces). They put a lot of effort into welcoming us.”

Over’s six-week “crowdfunding” journey last year we watched the total rise and rise adding to the tally of goodies in our basket and peaking at $12, 853 as the team flew out on December 19.

The centrepiece of the Little and LOUD visit was a movie night under the stars put on by hiring a generator and a projector hooked up to a laptop.

As well as carting the equipment into the remote jungle the team had to find an appropriate screen – which came their way in the form of a handy white bed sheet.

“It was very makeshift but it worked,” Ms Lazo said. “To see the children’s faces – they were just in awe. They had never really seen a movie screen before and we played The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Everyone was in a riot, laughing.”

As well as the Christmas fun, the reader donations have so far helped provide new desks and educational supplies for the village primary school.

The money is more than the Solomons Government gives the school for an entire year and will also provide valuable support for upgrading the derelict buildings.

Future plans include constructing an assembly hall and a library as well as healthy toilet blocks for the children and teachers.

Ms Lazo said the donations had given the community hope and built some momentum for organising other school projects locally.

“Thank you so much for all you’ve done,” she said. “The kids are incredibly ecstatic and the whole community is grateful.”

See more about the Adopt-a-village project here

By Will Temple, staff writer


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