Tuesday, 18 October 2011 8:04 AM

Solomons Trip Inspires Fundraising

A group of Bundaberg students, doctors and volunteers have returned from a moving trip to the Solomon Islands determined to improve the lives of their hosts.

Trip organizer Lloyd Finnis said a group of 24 Bundaberg Special School students visited the Honiara Red Cross Special Development School to offer donations and exchange knowledge.

"It was absolutely fantastic," he said.

"There is a lot more work we could do from an Australian point of view to get goods over there.

"We want to do a lot more fundraising to get wheelchairs and any physiotherapy equipment required."

Mr Finnis said Judy Williams, a pediatrician from Bundaberg Hospital, also went on the trip.

"She is putting together a team of specialists to work with the kids over there next year to help diagnose the children and to help them have a good life," she said.

Mr Finnis said the lives of the children at the Honiara special school could be improved using simple procedures that Australians took for granted.

"A lot of children can be given just one needle which can prevent them from going blind or deaf," he said.

"That's how simple it is for us, but they don't have the facilities to provide it."
Mr Finnis said the Bundaberg Special School students enjoyed many highlights during the five days they spent on the island.

"They (the Bundaberg students) got to mingle with the other children there, learn about their disabilities and realize that others out there have similar disabilities," he said.

"They held dance nights and disco nights; we couldn't have asked for better hosts."

The trip was so successful Mr Finnis said they would present the opportunity to the Honiara Red Cross Special Development students to visit Australia next year.