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Partnerships between Community, National and Provincial Governments and UNICEF produces sustainable results for children in Western Province.

GIZO, 27 July, 2009 – After a very successful visit to Western Province last week, UNICEF Pacific Representative Dr Isiye Ndombi and the UNICEF New Zealand delegation expressed satisfaction and inspiration for the progress made by community to improve the situation of children and their families.With a promise to continue to support the joint programme between Solomon Islands Government and UNICEF, Dennis McKinlay, Executive Director of UNICEF National Committee in New Zealand said it was “humbling to see the pride and courage of the children and their parents in resuming their lives and moving forward after the trauma they experienced. My congratulations to UNICEF RARP team and associated Government Ministries for their outstanding work.”

During Friday’s visit to Iriqila, Vella la Vella, Dr Isiye Ndombi launched their Healthy Village Setting programme. As a result of this community led initiative, children and their families will have access to clean living environment and safe recreation areas. Within this environment the community, Provincial Government, National Government and UNICEF are bringing together all programmes including Child Protection, Education, Health and Sanitation and HIV. This will holistically create a ‘Child Friendly Village’ in which children’s rights to survival, development, participation and protection are actively realized.
In his launch address Dr Ndombi said "communities of Western and Choiseul provinces must be commended for their leadership and participatory role in transforming their primary schools through the 'building back better' initiative managed by UNICEF under the Recovery Action and Rehabilitation Project (RARP) partnership.”

The team from UNICEF New Zealand were in the Western Province to view the work UNICEF, the Government of Solomon Islands and its partners are doing in terms of improving provincial delivery of services following the earthquake and tsunami of 2007.In Iriqila the delegation visited the health clinic, homes with bed nets, the old school site with tents still in use and the three double classrooms (which are near completion). The school has been constructed with full participation from all community members.

Dr. Ndombi said “UNICEF Pacific thanks UNICEF New Zealand for providing considerable support to the schools reconstruction effort and regularly visiting the communities to witness the progress being made. We expect all these schools to become certified child-friendly schools through being effective as learning places for children, protective of children's rights, environmentally healthy, girl-friendly and inclusive -- in their management -- of children, parents and communities."Also on this mission were Gareth and Joanne Morgan of Gareth Morgan Investments and UNICEF Good Will Ambassadors in New Zealand, Chief of UNICEF Solomon Islands Office, Roy Bowen, staff of UNICEF Solomon Islands and the Provincial Education and Health Authorities.



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