Save the Children successfully hosted a children’s forum in Gizo last week.
The forum coincided with the International Children’s Day celebrations in the Western Provincial capital.
Students from seven schools participated in the forum which included a speech contest on the pillars of child protection; Protection, Participation, survival and Development.
The children during the forum also have the opportunity to ask provincial leaders present , what plans the provincial government has in place to improve the education system and health services for children in the Western Province. Provincial Minister for Youth, Women, Children and Family Affairs, Honorable Robert Carlos was the guest of honour at the event.
Deputy Provincial Secretary, Patrick Toiraena, other government officers and representatives from churches, non-government organizations, school principals and headmasters of the participating schools also attended the forum.
Fourteen schools participated in the International Children’s Day celebrations, which started with a parade from Gizo hospital Area to netball courts where stalls were set up.
Other activities were face painting and drawings which the children used to expressed child protection messages to the public.
Save the Children Western Provincial Coordinator, Joe Haga emphasized that a child’s future depends entirely on how we support them now.
The program was part of Save the Children’s Child Development Care and Protection Project (CPCD) and the Youth Outreach Partnership Project, both funded by the Australian Government.
Save the Children through the Child Development Care and Protection Project works with communities, parents, children and national and provincial governments to strengthen child protection systems and reduces risk and vulnerabilities of children in the Solomon Islands by taking an integrated approach to addressing their developmental needs.
The Youth Outreach Partnership project aims to support young people and communities through providing livelihood opportunities for young people ensuring the engagement of young people in activities to improve healthy lifestyles, and encouraging women and girls to take part in decision making processes.