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Shining brighter in Penrhyn

Wednesday 21 February 2024 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Education, Local, National, Outer Islands


Shining brighter in Penrhyn
Teupoo Tapaitau and Omoka School students in Penrhyn with their portable solar lights. APII NAPA/24022002

Penrhyn is shining extra bright thanks to the kind donation of solar lights.

The 55 students at Omoka and Tetautua schools have each recently received a portable solar light with its own solar panel charger, donated by the Government of India.

This useful and wonderful initiative was brought about by Teupoo Tapaitau, a member of Penrhyn’s ‘Tongareva Vahinetini’ women’s group.

Back in 2020, Tapaitau was given the opportunity by the Cook Islands National Council of Women (CINCW) to undergo training in India for seven months.

Apii Napa, principal of both Omoka and Tetautua Schools said they are grateful Tapaitau thought of providing each child with a solar light.

She said the solar lights are extremely manageable, light to carry and don’t take up much space on the boat when carting things for a visit to the Motu.

“Depending on what level it is used at, the light can last until the morning,” said Napa.

“Gone are the days of taking the generator to the Motu,” she added.

Napa said, in Penrhyn Schools, showing thankfulness and appreciation is encouraged to acknowledging gifts donated by support groups and communities, “for thinking of our children here in Tongareva.”

“As a token of appreciation and to say thank you, each child provided a sei poreho each to acknowledge CINCW.”

She said gratitude is emphasised in their schools.

“It is not always about ‘receiving’, it is also about ‘giving’.

“If we teach our children the deeds of receiving with grace and giving, as a parent and a teacher l know that we will have instilled in our children a sense of respect that is long lasting.”

On behalf of Omoka and Tetautua School, their PTA, staff, students and families, Napa would like to thank “Mrs Teupoo Tapaitau and CINCW for thinking of our children here in the north.

“Meitaki poria... e te Atua te Aroa no kotou katoatoa,” said Napa.