A TOTAL of 500 booklets of the National Youth Policy were handed to the Ministry of Women Youth Children and Family Affairs during a brief handover ceremony in Honiara, Tuesday.
Speaking during the ceremony at the ministry’s conference room, UNDP rep Stella Delaivera said printing of the youth policy booklets is part of a current peace building program coordinated by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of National Unity Peace and Reconciliation (MNUPR) to help disseminate awareness on the existence of the Solomon Islands National Youth Policy (SINUP).
She said this is also aligned to the policy’s priority outcome 4 on Youth and Peacebuilding.
“The initiative follows one of the priority outcomes of a youth and peacebuilding training workshop conducted in February this year where nearly all the 80 youth participants were not aware of the existence of a national youth policy,” Ms Delaivera said.
“Only one out of the 80 youth participants is aware and has read the youth policy document, thus the need to produce these very handy booklets.”
The UNDP rep said this also calls for immediate attention as it only indicates around 70 percent of our youthful population has never read the youth policy.
Not only that but reproducing the bulky policy document as handy booklets also expands our awareness efforts, she said.
Whilst acknowledging the above fact, Director of Youth Development Division Edward Anisitolo in response applauded UNDP’s valuable assistance towards the work of his division.
He said while being aware of its existence and reading is one thing, understanding the policy document is another.
Director of the ministry’s Research, Policy, Planning and Information Division Hugo Hebala also shared similar sentiments and highlighted the need to simplify details of the policy so that ordinary youths or even the marginalized ones can actually understand.
Meanwhile Deputy Youth Director, Andre Tipoki also highlighted the need for a better coordinated approach to disseminate knowledge and understanding of the national youth policy.
He said no matter the lifespan of the National Youth Policy 2010-2014, issues affecting youths does not stop.
An effective dissemination approach targeting youths especially our marginalised ones is something the youth division must explore.
Mr Tipoki also calls for the need to keep and maintain data on the dissemination of the youth policy awareness materials in order to easily monitor and evaluate current and future awareness efforts.
Other printed awareness materials including stickers targeting youths to be better informed of the importance of the national youth policy is expected from UNDP later today.
Staff of UNDP and the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs witnessed the brief handing over of the national youth policy booklets today.