Commonwealth Point of Light 43. Jacob Sibia
Jacob Sibia, representing Solomon Islands, led and funded a school being built from scratch with traditional materials in the village of Belaha in central Guadalcanal where he is Chief.
Jacob’s school provides free primary education for disadvantaged children in his village aged between five and eight. The students Jacob is reaching would otherwise not be attending school, as in many parts of the Solomon Islands there is no access to educational facilities and over 25% of children do not attend primary school. The construction costs of the building were covered by Jacob and now the school has five classes with over 100 children attending at any one time.
Jacob Sibia said:
“I am amazed and honoured to have been nominated for this award. I would like to give thanks to my wife, who from the beginning has been so helpful, to the teachers at the school, and to the British High Commission.
“I would also like to thank Her Majesty, The Queen for deeming my work as being deserving of this great honour.
“My voluntary work has never been about recognition, it is for the children’s welfare and future. My vision, motive and desire in starting the school is to raise the children from earlier ages with good values using a holistic approach.
“I praise God for my success and strongly believe in ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’.
“Hapi Tumas for tekem disfela award (Extremely happy to receive this award).”
David Ward, UK High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands, said:
“The example that Jacob has shown of community services sets a model for us all, and I am delighted that he has been recognised in this way.”