A graduate receiving her certificate from the Ministry of National Unity Reconciliation and Peace Director, Mr. Reuben Lilo. (Photo: UNDP/Sandra Barrows)

Honiara, Solomon Islands
- The fourth batch of youths graduated this week in the peacebuilding and livelihood skills training, delivered in close partnership with the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace (MNURP), Coconut Technology Center (CTC) and UN Peacebuilding Fund (UNPBF) project.

Twenty youths from rural communities in North Malaita and the Weathercoast, attended the 2 week course that ended on November 3, 2017. 

These youths were also among the more than 200 youths who attended Youth Peacebuilding Innovation Forum held in Honiara in October which aimed to promote the role of youth as problem solvers, peacebuilders and economic actors/entrepreneurs.  

In attendance at the graduation ceremony was the Director of MNURP, Mr. Reuben Lilo, Chairman of CTC Board, Mr. Wilson Kikolo and representatives of UNPBF project team.

Director Lilo thanked UNPBF project and CTC for funding and facilitating this training and encouraged the youths to use their skills and knowledge gained from the training to equip themselves to become someone who can make a difference in their communities. He said, “You need to be role models for other youths and to be peace advocates and peacebuilders in your communities”. 

Speaking on behalf of her classmates, Ms. Nelly Baekalia expressed appreciation to the MNURP, UNPBF project and CTC for the opportunity to be part of this training. She said, “It is a rare chance for us youths from North Malaita and Weathercoast to come together to attend such training. Thank you also for including us in the Youth Peacebuilding Innovation Forum”. 

CTC representative Mr. Francis Kapini expressed his sincere thanks to the youths for attending this training, despite many challenges to bring them to Honiara from their remote communities. He said, “We went further into remote communities to recruit this batch of youths, this meant longer distances by boat especially for Weathercoast but we are very happy to have been able to provide this training opportunity for youths from rural areas”.

Graduates with the Director of MNURP, Reuben Lilo. (Photo: UNDP/Sandra Barrows)

Each participant also received a solar radio to enable them to have access to information and current affairs. In some communities, radio is the only means of communication. The training covered topics such as peacebuilding and conflict resolutions, basic financial literacy, tree planting, agriculture and cash crops, community resources and opportunities, DME production, value of organic farming, opportunities in native fruit trees and ngali nuts, basic business and pricing and record keeping. 

The facilitating partners and trainers included Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Basil Gua, Kastom Garden and Zainatina, Maraghoto Holdings, Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF), Solomon Islands Small Business Enterprise (SISBEC), ANZ Bank, Central Bank and Kokonut Pacific. 

UNPBF project is aiming to support peaceful & inclusive transition in Solomon Islands, jointly implemented by the United Nations Development Programme 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 27446 ext. 5527

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