Looking in back in history…F.A.I.M Project Kilu’ufi Hospital, Auki on the Island of Malaita, Solomon Islands

By Alistair Gray

6 – 21 September 1997
Team: Alistair Gray, Howard Davies, Liz Davies, Peter Melville, Guy Glenny.
This was the Club’s first F.A.I.M Project to the Solomons. It was very much a trail blazing endeavour, that set the foundation for many years of successful projects in the Solomons. We were hindered by very poor communications, mainly fax and phone, (no internet) and a lack of resources and our own handyman skills. Despite this we prepared and painted roofs of the hospital to aid water collection, removed mould and cleaned and painted the walls and ceilings of the women’s ward. Removed mosquito netting, repainted the framework and fixed new netting. Painted bedside cabinets with help of local women. Provided computer training to the Admin Staff and trained local boys in basic painting techniques and skills. Nurse Liz visited and helped at outlying health clinics.
Highlights included-
  • Watching Princess Diana’s funeral surrounded by locals and having the TV turned off
  • Industrial action by trouble makers Davies and Melville following the Director of the hospital complaining we were using too much paint… We struggled to get taupes
  • Falling off improvised scaffolding while paint ceilings (2 beds, with a bed on top, with a chair on that… No health and safety in those days)
  • Visiting villages all made of palm leaves, Schools, Churches and various Rotary Projects
  • The friendship and gratitude of the locals and the deep bonds, fun and life friendships developed by the team members.