Weather Coast of Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands (19th March – 23rd April 2021) – Since March 19, the UN Development Programme in Solomon Islands, in cooperation with the Government of Solomon Islands and the International Labor Organization (ILO), is delivering a one-month training leadership in peacebuilding programme for youths in the Weather Coast within the Empowering Youth as Agents for Peace and Social Cohesion in the Solomon Islands Project’s framework.
More than 100 young community leaders aged 16-24 years from five youth caucuses participated in a complex training programme on leadership, peacebuilding, effective governance and gender equality. Among the main training’s goals are to empower youth to become peacebuilders and leaders in their communities and boost youth participation rate in decision-making to ensure everyone’s voices heard and counted.
Since the Solomon Islands Government committed to prioritize youth rights and address youth aspirations and well-being, UNDP Solomon Islands, through the Youth Empowerment Project, aims to engage young people across the country in peacebuilding efforts and increase their inclusion in the social and economic life of their communities.
UNDP Solomon Islands Project Manager Vardon Hoca noted the importance of youth empowerment through such leadership programmes: “Education, cultural diversity, gender equality and youth empowerment have a central role in building a resilient, competitive and sustainable Solomon Islands’ future. Following this training programme, we tried to swiftly present the first set of initiatives addressing key competencies for lifelong learning, peaceful co-existence, and fostering common values and inclusive education.”
The programme goal is to empower its participants to assume a leading role in improving peaceful communication between the different groups and open a window for dialogue in society. It is expected that the participants lead this initiative and disseminate their experiences in their communities by sharing them with the other youth networks and active youth organizations.
“Young people can be important drivers and agents of change in the development of their community, province, and most importantly, our country as a whole. In order to bridge the communication gap between generations, people must start listening to each other. Hence, programmes like this must involve youth to make the decision-making process more inclusive,” said one of the participants from Nagho caucus.
With the 2030 Agenda as a guiding thread, UNDP works to advance young people’s civic
and political life, economic empowerment, and role as peace- and resilience-builders.
The training programme which will last till the end of April, 2021 is being conducted by the Empowering Youth as Agents for Peace and Social Cohesion in the Solomon Islands Project and implemented by UNDP Solomon Islands with the financial support of the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund.