Roger Maritoa left last year in October as part of a group of youth chosen to study in Taipei, Taiwan under fully funded technical scholarships.
Roger and two other [email protected] interns were part of the group of five that left the country to undertake studies in various fields ranging from plumbing to high voltage electrics.
The 25-year-old went to study electrical maintenance, household wiring and heavy voltage appliances at the Tai Chung Chang Ua Nan Tou Regional University.
Roger reports that the experience has changed his perception on life.
“I believe that my time abroad has helped me realise that learning is not only something you do when you are young, you keep learning till you die and I am grateful that [email protected] and the Taiwanese Embassy have provided this opportunity for me and my fellow young colleagues.”
Roger left high school after completing Form 6 at the Honiara High School in 2008.
He then went on to upgrade his preliminary studies at the UPNG open campus here in Honiara.
After four semesters, he tried looking for work opportunities to help finance his education and stumbled upon the [email protected] program, which he joined in its 5th phase.
“The opportunity given by the Taiwanese Embassy via [email protected] has helped me to become a better person and I believe this opportunity has helped me to have a vision for my country, to help raise the standard of living in the Solomon Islands,” says Roger.
Roger and the other four recipients of the scholarship all passed with flying colours and have received high praise from the Taiwanese Embassy.
“We are happy to have provided this opportunity for vocational training these young men, they also had a great time visiting other parts of central Taiwan (Taipei) and were impressed by the locals as they were well received by them,” says First Secretary to the Taiwanese Embassy in Honiara, Mr Francis Soong.
This program is the first of its kind which is in its testing phase and depending on its success will continue to sponsor more young people. Roger and the other two interns from the [email protected] program were among five youth who departed last year October for Taiwan.
[email protected] is a combined effort of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the Ministry of National Unity, Peace and Reconciliation, The Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration and the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs. It is a long term programme to tackle youth unemployment in the Solomon Islands and is funded by Australian Aid. To date, over 1600 youth have been given job internships and extensive training under the programme, with another 1500 youth given entrepreneurial opportunities and training through the popular Youth Market.