First batch of youth peacebuilders celebrate their graduation

Jun 22, 2017

Young graduates at the end of the 10 day training with (middle) UNDP Solomon Islands Country Manager, Azuza Kubota (Photo: UNDP SOI)

Honiara, Solomon Islands - The first ever graduates of UN Peacebuilding supported training in peacebuilding and livelihood skills, in partnership with Coconut Technology Centre were honoured in a graduation ceremony. Nineteen youth from communities in North Malaita and Weathercoast, completed the 10 day course that ended on June 20, 2017.

At the graduating ceremony, Ms. Azusa Kubota, Head of UN Joint Presence Office in Solomon Islands said, “Sustainable development underpins lasting peace, and peaceful and inclusive societies create an environment conducive to sustainable development. We want to listen to young people and make sure that we support you to be role models in your communities”, she continued to say, “We hope that you will continue to seek more knowledge and opportunities and go back and share with your communities what you have learned. This can be a very powerful ripple effect”.  

Sharing her experience from the training, Ms. Elma Marisi from Weathercoast said, “The skills and knowledge acquired has prepared me to return to my community and support other youths who do not have such opportunity to attend this training to become peace advocates. At the start of the training I was afraid to be with youths from other provinces, especially Malaita province but now we have become like brothers and sisters”. 

Each participant also received a solar-generated radio to be used for community members in remote areas to access information, especially during this crucial time in Solomon Islands. In some communities radio is the only means of communication. UN Peacebuilding Fund (UNPBF) is disseminating these radio to remote communities as a way of supporting them to be better connected to information and  raise awareness as a member of the Solomon Islands society. 

The training covered topics such as peacebuilding and conflict resolutions, tree planting, agriculture and community resources and opportunities DMEs and writing of action plans, value of organic farming, opportunities in native fruit trees and Ngali nuts, basic business, pricing and record keeping.

The facilitating partners and trainers included Ministry of Unity, Peace and Reconciliation, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Basil Gua, Kastom Gaden, Maraghoto Holdings, Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF), Solomon Islands Small Business Enterprise (SISBEC), ANZ Bank, and Kokonut Pacific. Up to 200 youth will benefit from such training over the next 6 months. 

Speaking on behalf of his class fellows at the training Mr. Judson Liolea, participant from North Malaita said, “We are glad to be part of the training, it has been an eye opener – an opportunity to learn about peacebuilding and other livelihood skills. Attending the training with youths from Weathercast has made us break barriers that exist among us because of the past. Now we are able to live together, share together and smile together”.

UNPBF project is aiming to support peaceful & inclusive transition in Solomon Islands, jointly implemented by UNDP and UN Women in close collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation & Peace, and Ministry of Women, Youth, Children & Family Affairs. 

Contact information

Sandra Barrows, Communications & Media Specialist, UNDP Solomon Islands, email: sandra.barrows@undp.org; tel: +677 71369 78

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