TWENTY-THREE (23) young unemployed youths were given hope again after completing studies in horticulture.
The group who graduated on Thursday this week, graduated with a TAFE (Technical education – Australia) based certificate in basic gardening, landscaping, plant and soil knowledge, together with a component in small business skills.
During their training, they do field work at various business houses around the city to gain knowledge of working in a commercial environment.
Solomon Islands Environment and Beautification (SEB) have been conducting training of young people in this field for the past six years.
SEB offers three levels of training – Level 1, (the present group graduated at this level) Level 2 is more advanced and many of SEB permanent staff are qualified at level 2. Level 3 is the highest of the grades and one course at this level has been completed.
A statement from SEB acknowledged trainer Juanita Page who is a graduate of the SINU in tropical agriculture and has had further training in Australia and has gained further training from the Australian Volunteer program.
“Since the training program started, SEB has graduated over 520 level 1 students, 90 level 2 students and 6 level three graduates.
“This makes a total of 616 students who have been through the training.
“The program has been supported by SITCO for the last five years. SEB is very grateful for their continuing support in assisting young people to be skilled and enable them to have greater opportunities to find paid employment.”
“SEB was started in 1999, when the lovely flame trees lining Mendana Ave were being cut down in order to make way for the wider road system.
“There were no plans in place to replant the trees.
“SEB worked with the Honiara City Council to assist in the replanting and continued to plant the roundabouts, the palms in the middle road, together with the planter boxes, parks and gardens, upgrade of Commonwealth Street and other gardens placed around the city.
SEB is a NGO and a Charitable Trust. SEB obtains its funding through grants and donations and tendering for landscaping jobs.
SEB has Board of Trustees that oversee a staff of 30 gardeners, three office staff and an overall manager.
SEB mission statement is to enhance the environmental beautification of urban centres throughout the Solomon Islands, creating an attractive natural environment for citizens and visitors alike.