Focus 2004

Solomon Islands 1 - FIN15-05-2004

Project: Salesian Missions, Solomon Islands
Date of foundation: 1995
Place: Solomon Islands
Province: Japan (GIA)

The Catholic Church in the Solomon Islands is about a hundred years old. It was established by the Marist Missionaries who dedicated their resources to serving the people of the Pacific islands, at times, even unto death. Today others share their mission - the Dominicans, Vincentians, Salesians, and MSp - a misssionary congregation from the Philippines.

The Salesians came to the islands in 1995. The province of Japan, under the leadership of Fr. Francis Mizobe, SDB (now Bishop of Sendai, Japan) took up missionary activity in the island as part of the province’s missionary thrust. His successor, Fr. Stefano Fujikawa SDB, continued to keep Solomon Islands in the forefront of the concerns of the province. Gradually, personnel arrived from different parts of the East Asian and South Asian provinces. Currently seven Salesians form one community which has three different works, a Parish, a Technical School and a Communications project.

1. Christ the King parish, Tetere
The Christ the King Parish administers to 8 catholic villages that have in all about 2,500 Catholics. The parish is situated in the now abandoned ‘Solomon Islands Plantation Limited’. Although it is just 17 kms out of the Tetere town, the area is without electrical power, telephone connections, water supply or sanitation. The parishioners who live in leaf houses on the outskirts of the parish have to trek a distance of 30 kms to reach the church. Education and health have been identified as the greatest needs of the people. Kindergarten schools, run by committed young women have been set up in the different villages. Many short courses help to educate the adult population, such as, leadership training, fishing, accounting, midwifery, basic health care, agriculture and animal husbandry, catechist-training, youth animation and media awareness. These courses help to bring people dispersed in different villages together. They help them to look beyond the boundaries of their own village communities for the greater common good. The difference is significant – as is seen in the positive interaction between the different villages.

Plans and development projects are continuing for the progress of the people. For instance, a center for education and health is in the process of being constructed; a community radio station that will reach villages is also part of the plan; a rural training center is being thought of. All these projects that are yet to be realized are dependent on the good will, initiative and generosity of the benefactors. Meanwhile a constant stream of volunteers from different corners of the globe have been assisting the Salesians in this on-going process of empowering the people.

2. Don Bosco Technical School, Henderson
The Coup of 5th June, 2000, had changed the options that the Salesians had first made. A training centre for the prisoners at the Central Prison, Rove, was the initial plan. But after many of the young prisoners were set free, a need was felt to train these young men in valuable skills for a better life. Thus a technical course commenced for 16 young men in September 2000, just at the time when schools and other educational institutes in Honiara were closing down. In 2001, there were 20 students. Meanwhile new courses were offered, such as welding and motor mechanics. In 2002, with the addition of a new building, the school was ready to taken in more students with a new section for school drop outs. Today the school caters to 130 students.

The day begins at 7.30 a.m. with a Morning Prayer and assembly. Discipline, hardwork, honesty, punctuality, respect and commitment are values that are being emphasized. Moreover there is plenty of scope to develop healthy skills through the setting up of different clubs sports and cultural clubs. Extracurricular activities such as sports, games, arts, dance, drama, scouting, are part of the training received and bring out the best in the students.

There is no denying that they are proud of their school and are on their way to developing a healthy self-esteem. Their logo says is all: ‘Born for greater things’. Today some of the ex-students are employed in further construction works by the Salesians, while others are gainfully imployed at different locations in their towns.

3. Catholic Communications Solomons
With the departure of the Communications director of Solomon Islands in 1990, the Archbishop of Honiara, Adrian Smith, requested that a Salesian assume responsibility for Catholic Communications Solomons (CCS).

Ever since 1999, a network of competent persons has been created by CCS to serve the Church of Solomon Islands as well as the three dioceses of Gizo, Auki and Honiara through radio broadcasts, print media, video coverage and a religious books store.
Voice Katolika, is the quarterly newspaper of the Catholic Church that strives to build the body of Christ through person-centred and community based communication. It is a full member of the Australian Catholic Press Association (ACPA).

‘Media Education Seminars’, held in different locations in the country have sought to build critical awareness and develop leadership skills among ordinary citizens in journalism and communication. These seminars have also been held in neighbouring islands of the Pacific. In 2001, the Director of CCS was elected to represent the Pacific Islands as a Member of the Board of SIGNIS (The World Catholic Association for Communication), thus deepening the commitment to Media Education in the region.

Solomon Islands is among the poorest of the pacific islands. It will need the constant support of committed and dedicated persons for many years to come. Its primitive setting, with cultural differences, inclement weather, lack of travel and communication possibilities and the constant threat of malaria add to the many hindrances to living live and working. The Salesians and those who volunteer their time and energy are committed in their service to the people they love. Filled with zeal and determination, they continue to give of their very best, the Don Bosco way.


Salesians of Don Bosco
P. O. Box R341
Don Bosco Henderson Honiara,
Solomon Islands.

Tel: 677-36222
Fax: 677-36333
Web site: