Meet Jenny. She is 32 and currently attending Early Childhood Education Training at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU). She enrolled in February 2017 and received the scholarship in March.
She was very excited to learn new skills that will help her become a good teacher. Ever since she was a child, she dreamt of becoming the best professional teacher in Early Childhood Care Education in Solomon Islands. Jenny says with a smile,
"I want to teach the children of Solomon Islands to become good students, good citizens and ambassadors for peace."
With four siblings in her family, Jenny tells us how much her parents have struggled to send all their children to school. "The school fees were very expensive. My family had little money which needed to be used for the survival of the family." She continues, "In Solomon Islands, only few young people can complete their education through scholarship programs through the Government, Aid donors, or if their parents are working in town. Most young people find it difficult to complete their education due to lack of financial support from their parents, which are often not working a proper job. So they only earn very little money which is used for the family survival. In the end this really negatively affects young people's mentality and most of them give up on wanting to complete their education."
Nevertheless, Jenny's family has been blessed in the past. Her older brother was sponsored from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid) to study sound engineering at the JMC Academy in Sydney. Her younger sister is currently studying accounting at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji, sponsored by the Solomon Island Government.
We asked her how she feels about her future now that she goes to university: "Now I feel that my future is bright. I feel blessed, and I am confident that I can accomplish my goals and dreams." She shares. "I was very fortunate to get this Scholarship and be able to study Early Childhood Education at the Solomon Islands National University. I am forever grateful to all those who supported me through WFWP Australia".
To conclude, we asked her what is she the proudest of now. She replied: "I am very proud of myself. I feel empowered. With this degree and my future job I will be able to support my own family." Jenny has two children. "I believe other passionate young people deserve to have their dreams come true. With the right support, I believe there is hope for us and a way out of this social problem. Education is the key to a better future."
As a newly graduated teacher, Jenny will be employed in a local Kindergarten in Honiara, the New Hope Academy (NHA) Kindergarten. WFWP Australia has been supporting this kindergarten for years. In 2016, with 2'500 AUD$, WFWP Australia donated solar panels to provide electricity to the building. As the school is now expanding into a primary school, new teachers will be needed. Jenny has visited the Kindergarten during her assignment period.
Jenny has now completed the first semester of her course. WFWP Australia wishes her all the best for her studies. We will be hearing from her next time as she graduates at the end of the next semester.
WFWP Australia is now selecting new candidates for next year and is planning to expand this initiative to Vanuatu, focusing on high school students.
With support from our donors, WFWP Australia will be able to effectively support many other young passionate adults into the development of their education and career.