Wantirna Church (together with Warrnambool Church) decided mid 2008 to ‘Adopt' Balolava Clinic in the Solomon Islands: provide significant funding plus resources to carry out maintenance on the property. Following a successful investigation trip and comprehensive report by Dr Ross Sinclair and David Stott late 2008, the Church raised funds and organised material which was shipped to Honiara and then on to Balolava Clinic during August 2009. A team then visited Balolava Clinic from 24th September and return 13th October. During the visit the team, with the support of locals, re-clad the roof, installed a comprehensive solar energy system, re-painted the exterior and interior of the building, repaired the water supply pipeline plus performed a general upgrade of the medical facility.
The new boat purchased for Balolava
The team from Wantirna and Warrnambool churches
How the clinic looked after refurbishment
Since the Wantirna/Warrnambool team visit, the Solomon’s Government has demonstrated a renewed interest of the importance Balolava Clinic plays in the Region and, following an inspection of the Clinic, the Government declared this is the model they wish to implement Nationally. More recently the Solomon Islands government has indicated that they would like to further develop and increase the range of services offered at the Balolava clinic. They are investigating providing funding to upgrade the clinic to the level of a mini-hospital to reduce the need to transport ill patients to Honiara hospital for treatment which is currently an expensive eight hour canoe/outboard motor trip, often in adverse weather conditions. The Balolava clinic has been chosen for this upgrade because it is the most accessible clinic and because it (now) has a preferred infrastructure. This means the work carried out by Wantirna/Warrnambool Churches has been even more worthwhile - more people will receive a better level of health care. The Staff of Balolava Clinic are very capable and dedicated people who not only provide Medical Services but also spend considerable time and effort in witnessing with discussion and Bible study. The interest in Bible study has increased since the Clinic renovation which is resulting in baptisms.
Wantirna and Warrnambool Churches ‘adopted’ Balolava Clinic and are committed for the longer term to help ensure the Clinic is well maintained and developed. Church Budgets have been set plus donations from individuals and fund raising events boost these funds. For example, on October 2nd 2010 a successful classical concert was organized by a young Musician (Samuel Schlegel) at which 170 people from a range of churches attended, raising $2,437 on the night.
Our First Look at Balolava
Photos by Ross Sinclair and David Stott. Video produced by Jeff Dever.
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