In January 2007 the Salesian Sisters of the South Pacific Region, came to the Solomon Islands and opened a house at Henderson, not far from the capital, Honiara, Guadalcanal. There are four Sisters in the community. A girls' hostel was built and opened in 2010. It is within the Sisters' compound and accommodates up to 36 young women from all over the country. The girls can complete their education, study and learn valuable employment and life skills. In 2014 the Sisters opened the Maria Mazzarello Development Centre for young girls and women. This centre was recognized by the Solomon Islands Government since November 2018.
Past Pupils Association
The Past Pupils' Association was started in September, 2018. It is developing nicely. Srs Claudia Aragon and Bernadette Wauki accompany the group. They have an executive with four members. They usually run refresher courses or workshops and call the members to come back. Participants each pay a fee of $150 per year. They also sell the projects they make during the workshops and in 2020 they were financially independent. An outing and celebration were held after completing the three workshops planned.
Laura Vicuna Hostel
The Laura Vicuna hostel in the Sisters' compound accommodates up to 36 young women. The mothers and girls themselves asked the sisters to build a hostel for young women from all parts of the country. In the hostel there are six bedrooms with space for six boarders in each. The hostel is run by all the Sisters and two lay staff. The boarders do not have far to travel to the nearby educational institutes to complete their education. The extra time for study at the hostel has meant that the girls can achieve good grades in all subjects. If a girl wants to discern her vocation to the Salesian Sisters' way of life, she can stay at the hostel and also assist with the boarders' programme.
Maria Mazzarello Development Centre
The Mary Mazzarello Development Centre (MMDC) in the Salesian Sisters' compound at Henderson, is an extension of the Sisters' mission for the young women who have not completed their schooling. The participants must be sixteen years old or older. The goal of the MMDC is to develop skills that the participants will use and share in their homes, villages and communities.
It is a five-months' course and no requirements or qualifications are needed to enrol.
In the second semester of 2020 there were twenty-six students. All were encouraged to ask for help until they understood the lessons, so all could make progress.
The following courses are offered:
Values Education; Human Development; Literacy; Numeracy; Computing
Life skills include:mCatering; Cooking; Nutrition; Health and Hygiene; Home Management.
Textiles include: Sewing; crocheting; tie dyeing; printing; floral arrangement.
Mission Stations Red Beach and Burns Creek
This is our pastoral outreach on Sunday mornings. Srs Ping and Bernadette go to Burns Creek while Sr Claudia, Sr Salome and the pre-candidate go to Red Beach. The morning begins with the Eucharist, followed by Sunday School and games.
Come and See Programme
All four Sisters organise and run the “Come and See” Days for girls discerning the possibility of a vocation to the religious life with the Salesian Sisters. These days are held about once a month in the hostel hall.