Close to three hundred young people (291) in Solomon Islands are now earning income through the establishment of youth livelihood projects in their communities.
Save the Children through its Youth Outreach Partnership Project (YOPP) has already reached to more than 8,000 young people in selected communities in Guadalcanal, Malaita, Choiseul and Western Province to sustainably run and manage livelihood projects and to play an active role in community decision making level.
A total of 24 livelihood projects have been successfully established in the four provinces. The establishment of the livelihood projects also includes establishment of youth committees and youth action plans.
The project also delivers trainings in life skills, technical, financial management strength base approach to young people and support youth groups establish and manage livelihood projects in their communities.
In Honiara and Guadalcanal Save the Children has been assisting young people in nine communities to establish livelihood projects like piggery, poultry, vegetable farming and Fuel depot which youths are currently generating income from.
Recently Save the Children organized a five day annual reflection workshop in Honiara to understand the progress of the project and lessons learnt. A total number of 20 staff participated in the workshop and presented the highlights and achievement of the YOPP project in four provinces.
Provincial Coordinator for Honiara/Guadalcanal Richard Konai said, “the aim of these livelihood project activities is to help youths engaged in some income generating activities that can benefit them in one way or another through earning of income helping them to be resilient to financial challenges and build their standard of livings in the community.
“We also provide them with Technical trainings to give them better knowledge on the technical aspect of their livelihood project, Management trainings that can give them better management skills interms of finance and the project that they(youths) are responsible to oversee and lifeskills training that involves gender, family abuse, decision making, effective communication creative thinking etc that could help shape youths to become good responsible people in their communities.”
In Choiseul Province youth groups have established a petrol depot in Loimuni, sewing projects in Saghasagha and Molevanga and screen printing project in Vataba as part of their youth action plans and currently generating income from their projects.
Provincial Coordinator for Choiseul Nelson Katovai said, “the youth outreach partnership in Choiseul Province is progressing in a positive direction. More youth projects are about to start such as screen printing and lavalava dying for Rarakisi, and petrol depot for Tuzu/Kolokapisi and Sasamungga youths.
The project has also encouraged young people to take part in community leaders’/elders’ meetings. A male youth in Saghasagha community has been appointed as the chairman of Chairperson of Searme primary school.
A mix of six livelihood projects and four other youth participation projects running remarkably well in terms of earning income and increasing engagement of youth respectively in Malaita province.
Provincial Coordinator Simon Mannie Jnr said, “Youths in Malawai, Gwariagalu and Oibola communities are currently earning income from their poultry projects and Urabala youths from their canteen. Youths have successfully implemented their youth action plans by establishing their livelihood projects.Youths are now actively participating in their community and not afraid to raise their issues and problems to the Community meetings.
In Western Province, a total of seven livelihood projects have been implemented by youths in communities YOPP project is being implemented. The livelihood projects include piggery, fishing, poultry, lavalava dying and canteen.
The Youth Outreach Partnership Project, funded by DFAT, supports young people in sustainably running their own livelihood projects and that young people are playing an active role in community decision making.
Daniel Nugent, Second Secretary with DFAT has commented that “Australia is proud to partner of Save the Children and the Communities supported by the youth outreach program. Youth are the future of this Country and we see Save the Children providing them with fantastic opportunities to develop as leaders.”
The project is being implemented in target communities in Honiara/Guadalcanal, Malaita, Choiseul and Western Province.
Program Manager Nerol Vaekesa said, “The YOPP project is reaching more young people in the target sites through livelihood projects and other youth activities. This is indeed a great achievement for the communities to see that the young people are taking ownership of their project and are showing qualities of leadership and sustainability”