Honiara, Solomon Islands - Co-hosted by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the Solomon Islands National University (SINU), the youth challenge launching this week in the Solomon Islands will help youth to develop innovative solutions to providing education opportunities to those Solomon Islanders who do not have access to formal education.

The challenge aims to inspire young people who have brilliant ideas, but not the resources to bring them to life. This includes youth who face daily discrimination due to their ethnicity, their gender or their disability and those who are disadvantaged by poverty.

“This youth challenge is a fun and exciting, but critical way to help young people apply innovative thinking to help their communities. We encourage all youth to apply for this challenge and take a step forward in unleashing their hidden talents,” said UNICEF Pacific Representative, Sheldon Yett.

A call for Expression of Interest launched in Solomon Islands this week is open until 18 February. Interested applicants need to text GENU to 555 (all texts are FREE from Our Telekom via the UNICEF/MEHRD Rapid Pro platform) and answer the questions to check eligibility before proceeding.

Successful applicants, including out-of-school youth, will be invited to take part in design workshops in Honiara from 10 to 13 March.

Following these workshops, the five most promising ideas from Solomon Islands will be selected and awarded USD1,000 each to fund mentoring to support the projects’ implementation. Then, in June 2020, the two most promising solutions from each of the 40 countries where the contest is being implemented will be submitted to a global judging process. The successful projects will receive further funding of up to USD20,000, along with a tailored global incubation programme from Generation Unlimited partners to support them to scale.

“Tapping into the potential and creativity of young people is key if we are to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda,” said UNDP Solomon Islands Country Manager, Berdi Berdiyev.

He added, “Young people already play an important role in fostering social cohesion and inclusion, effective governance, climate action, innovation, and other issues in the Solomon Islands. This innovation challenge is a unique opportunity for young people to engage and should not be missed.”

The challenge will provide Solomon Islands the opportunity to draw on youth engagement and provide out-of-school youth with a second chance in education and boost their potential for gainful employment.

Interested applicants from the Solomon Islands are invited to regularly check IumiWaka Co-Working Space, which was established by the UNDP’s Innovation Facility and the Youth CoLab. They are also encouraged to join any of the Generation Unlimited sessions where support will be provided in completing the application form. SINU Distance and Flexible Learning Centre will also offer support to applicants at Panatina Campus in Honiara and subcentres in Buala (Isabel Province), Munda and Gizo (Western Province), Auki and Malu’u (Malaita Province), Taro (Choiseul Province), and Lata (Temotu Province).

For more information, please contact:

Iumi Waka, UNDP Solomon Islands; email: iumiwaka@undp.org

Estee B. Lonamei, SINU; tel: +677 7337-507; email: estee.lonamei@sinu.edu.sb

Zubnah Khan, UNICEF Pacific; tel: +679 7157-586; email: zukhan@unicef.org or Cate Heinrich, Chief of Communications, UNICEF Pacific; tel: +679 9925-606; email: cheinrich@unicef.org

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