The elders of the community loudly sang in Kuanua language, a hymn to praise God for his providence as the keys to the classroom were handed over.
The students, boasting beautiful golden blonde hair, filed into the classroom with excited chatter and laughter, taking their seats at the new desks and inspecting the interior of the classroom.
The St Michael’s Matupit double classroom project is a gift from Salome Irima, who was the winner of the lucky door prize, a health or education project, from the 2016/17 Men of Honour Awards Gala Night.
“I’m so thankful to Digicel Foundation for making it possible for me through the Men of Honour Awards to give this special gift to my community,” Ms Irima shared during the launching held on Monday.
“Handing over the keys today gives me such great satisfaction and pride to know that the children will have a great facility to learn in.
“After the devastation of the volcanic eruption in 1994, my people lost everything and I’m glad this building is giving something back to them, especially the young children.”
Board chairman of St Michael’s Matupit Primary School, Steven Taule, expressed gratitude on behalf of the community to Salome and Digicel Foundation for the project which brings education services to the doorstep of the children of the community.
“On behalf of the community and school board, I sincerely thank Salome for thinking of our children and choosing our school to be the recipient of this classroom. Big thanks also to Digicel Foundation for coming in and funding and constructing the classroom, which is right in the middle of our village.
“Our children have had to attend other schools following the relocation and closure of schools as a result of the effects of the volcanic eruption and we see the transportation struggles they face in their pursuit of education.
“Because of these transportation difficulties, our children have struggled and not really done well with their education but we know that with this new classroom, they are excited to begin this academic year and do really well,” Taule said.
The project was funded at a total cost of K240,000 and consists of a double classroom building with office space in between, teachers desks and chairs, 80 students desks, blackboards, solar lighting, 9000L water tank, two ventilation improved pit toilets and bucket shower.
Established in October 2008, Digicel PNG Foundation has directly invested K77 million in PNG’s rural, remote and socially marginalised communities across all 22 provinces, directly impacting over 770,000 people.
(Happy Matupit students eagerly await the handover of their new classroom)