WORLD VISION OPENS OFFICE IN SOLOMON ISLANDS

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Honiara presence brings emphasis on poverty, children

By Moffat Mamu HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Feb. 25, 2010) – World Vision Solomon Islands (WVSI) yesterday opened its new head office located inside the Kukum Highway Plaza in east Honiara.

The opening coincides with the visit by the World Vision Pacific Development Group director Curt Von-boguslawski.

[PIR editor’s note: Washington, D.C.-based World Vision International is a Christian organization dedicated to alleviating poverty, with particular focus on children. In the Pacific, the organization has outreach programs in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.]

Mr. Von-boguslawski is based in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG), and looks after projects in PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Speaking on the occasion, he said the opening of the new office aims at improving work environment and other programs and activities undertaken by World Vision in Solomon Islands.

He said the decision to relocate was based on his visit here last year.

"I walked into the old office and it’s very small, crowded and not enough space to get some fresh air. So I decided that something must be done to look for somewhere more comfortable," he said.

World Vision headquarters used to be located at the top of LKP Hardware in Point Cruz.

Based on that decision, the organization identified the Kukum highway plaza which is located near the sea.

"This new office complex should allow the Honiara-based staff to do their work with more fresh air and space to move around," he said.

The office space has a reception area, office units for the various departments and programs and a conference room.

At the back is an open space with the view of Iron Bottom Sound.

The opening of the new office complex also coincides with the farewelling of several staff and welcoming of two overseas staff.

Country Project Manager Andrew Catford, speaking to Solomon Star, said the renovation of the office cost some SB$60,000 [US$7,200]. They turned the former Fuli Restaurant into a beautiful office.

Mr. Catford said it’s a new setting which would set a big difference to allow their staff performed more than what they used to do.

"We are really happy with this new set up which would provide an environment and more space for my staff to do their work more efficiently," he said.

There are about 100 World Vision staff working on various projects around the country and of that five are expats.

Of that total, 40 are Honiara-based.

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organizations dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.

They deal with projects related to water sanitation, HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, humanitarian emergency affairs, program development, finance, communications and operations.

[PIR editor’s note: World Vision first entered the Pacific in 1970. In 1983 a national office was established, managing development projects throughout Papua New Guinea (PNG), the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu, later expanding to include neighbouring Fiji and Tonga.]

A handful of the Honiara staff with those from Weathercoast on Guadalcanal witnessed the brief opening ceremony.

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