Concert fundraiser for fire-damaged Solomons school

Tenakoga teacher Chareen Simbe in one of the burnt-out buildings.

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A fundraising concert on Sunday night (October 3) has raised more than $SBD122,500 ($A20,930) for Tenakoga Adventist High School in Solomon Islands.

The funds will go towards rebuilding classrooms that were gutted by a devastating fire on September 2. The fire destroyed science labs, forms 4 and 5 classrooms, and the social science, English, maths and science departments.

“We lost many things,” Tenakoga teacher Chareen Simbe shared in a new fundraising video.

“We lost chairs, desks, and the teachers lost a lot of resources and by this I mean textbooks and students’ work that needed to be handed in to the Ministry of Education that would be part of their exams.

“Inside our science office we also lost a lot of our science equipment. We have nothing left in our science department.”

The fire broke out in the early hours of September 2.

Burns Creek Adventist High School has opened its doors to Tenakoga students to use its science lab so they can complete and redo some practical work. Betikama Adventist College is also providing support.

Despite the shock and sadness caused by the fire, students and staff are remaining optimistic and putting the situation in God’s hands.

“As I stand amongst the remains of what used to be a centre of influence for our students, the painting here reminds us that even at our lowest point God is still there and I know He will use the school, our friends, the church, the community to help rebuild Tenakoga again,” Ms Simbe said in the video. “And with God Tenakoga will rise.”

Anyone who would like to support the school at this time is asked to contact the Solomon Islands Mission: sim@adventist.org.sb or Pastor Ray Eaton: rayeaton@adventist.org.au or 0431 579 303. Pastor Eaton co-ordinates a Solomon Islands Education Support team in Australia. This team has provided significant support to Tenakoga including building a dining hall, library, two ablution blocks and water and electrical infrastructure.

‘We will rise’ . . . teacher Chareen Simbe with the special mural which survived the blaze.
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