The phrase school of hard knocks refers to the education one gets from life's experiences, often contrasted with formal education.

Philip grew up with no formal schooling, but he managed to survive by learning from others and putting such skills into paid work.

Philip says that not going to school was not his choice, his parents separated when he was a young boy so there was no one to guide and encourage him.

He is now 41 years old and says he was just unlucky, but with a willingness to learn anything he says he is now happy and making a living for himself.

“As a young boy I spend a lot of time at the central market, when the boats come in, I help offload fish and other things, and people pay me.

"Then I noticed that when these fishermen came in with their boats, they sometimes need small fixing, like just patching up small leaks.

"So, I just watch them when they fix it, and I learn from them. Also, my cousin works at one of the fiberglass company that make boats. I sometimes ask him, and he helps explain things and showed me how to fix things.”

Philip says over time he became good at it, and now does repair work for small boats in Honiara. He says he spends most of his time at the main market and yacht club, with just a small repair kit that he carries around with him.

“It is good because now they just call me, and I just go down and fix their boat. And now they know me I just sit and wait, and they come to me. Now I make enough money to support my family, I pay for food and other needs.

“Looking back, I know that what really make me determined is the need to provide for me and my family," he said.

"And someone told me that everything starts small, so I always remember that. I will work hard and hopefully one day maybe have a little workshop where people can bring their boats for bigger repair jobs.”