"It is now time the Government of Solomon Islands recognise and see that handicap children in the country should be treated equal to other normal people."

Brother George Vandezan made the statement in a speech at the trade show grounds today.

Br. George is the very person who started taking the handicaps to train them in Nana Rural Training Centre in Makira six years back.

Speaking in front of a packed crowd today, Br. George said that this year marks the first ever in 30 years for handicaps to be given the privilege to join in any independence celebrations.

He said that as the nation celebrates 30 years of independence, "it is time that people realize that even the handicaps are important and should be treated equally in the society."

Br. George said that two of their students, Margaret Ann Laloga and Bobai Dari are now teaching other handicaps at the new centre for handicaps in Aruligo.

Both newly graduates at Vanga's teacher's college in the Western Province, Ms. Laloga is now teaching life skills while Mr. Dari is teaching wood work.

"Never before did any handicap go to a teacher's college like Vanga's and got trained to become a teacher just like other teachers."

"I am very thrilled to see that my students who are handicaps have also got the chance to celebrate independence with everyone and I want to urge parents out there with handicap children to bring them forward and let them learn at the Aruligo Handicap Centre," said Br. George.

He also stress to parents that the handicaps have a lot of talents and parents must expose their handicap children to the world "because they might never know but their children could have some very talented knowledge and skills."