Royal couple to see poverty and hope in the Solomon Islands13 September 2012, Featured
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be hosted by World Vision when they visit the Solomon Islands on Monday, September 17.
The 10 minute meeting with the international aid and development agency will give the Royals an insight into the development issues facing the pacific nation as well as the difference Kiwi dollars are making.
The Solomon Islands is one of the poorest countries in the world with its isolation resulting in poor access to essential services such as health care and high numbers of maternal and child deaths.
World Vision New Zealand (WVNZ) currently runs five programmes in the Solomon's, funded by the New Zealand Government and private donors. These are aimed at empowering communities to build a better future for themselves and their children.
WVNZ's country programme manager for the Solomon Islands Tilly Redstone said: "This is an exciting occasion for the people of the Solomon Islands.
"It will be a good opportunity for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to hear first-hand some of the challenges faced by Solomon Islanders as well as their hopes for the future."
The high-profiled visit promises to be particularly memorable for Solomon Islanders Louise Whitney and Ellison Maitaifiri, who have been working with World Vision and will share their personal stories of hope with Prince William and his wife Catherine.
Louise attended training facilitated by Solomon Islands Small Business Enterprise Company in partnership with World Vision. As a result she now runs a successful canteen shop from her home and is doing so well that she is looking for alternative premises. Her story is particularly impressive as the mother of three is a domestic violence survivor.
Happily her husband Cain has also turned his life around. With no formal qualifications or a means to provide for his family Cain admits to feeling increasingly frustrated and turned to drink, drugs and violence. Then, he joined the World Vision supported Burns Creek Prodigal Youth Group where he thrived and is now the group's chairman. He has also set up a pig-farming business and works for a local NGO. Most importantly he has a renewed sense of confidence and is able to properly care for his family.
Ellison is an inspiring youth worker who has gained the encouragement he needed from World Vision to advocate for change and improvement in his community. He is now treasurer of the local Youth Alliance for Change group and set up the local Burns Creek Football Club.Top
"It will be a good opportunity for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to hear first-hand some of the challenges faced by Solomon Islanders as well as their hopes for the future." -Tilly Redstone, WVNZ's country programme manager for the Solomon Islands