The [email protected] Programme of the Pacific Community has been handed over to the Solomon Island government under the leadership of the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA). This was made official during a brief ceremony held at the MWYCFA Conference Room on Thursday 12th December 2019.
The handing over of the programme marked the commitment by the Solomon Island government to youth development. The Solomon Islands government has taken a huge step to take on the responsibility to keep the programme running. In addition, according to the Permanent Secretary of MWYCFA, the Government has approved SBD 3million to fund the programme in the 2020 budget.
“The support of SPC to youth development, through [email protected] has been significant and, on behalf of the Government, we take this opportunity to acknowledge the contribution that the [email protected] Programme has made in the last seven years to the development of our youth”, said Dr Cedric Alependava, Permanent Secretary of MWYCFA.
The [email protected] programme began in mid‒2012 as a practical response to the growing issue of youth unemployment, a key national development priority for the Solomon Islands Government (SIG). The program was created in order to fill a critical gap in youth employment through the placement of young people into career pathways, with the objective of helping them access to paid employment or to start their own business.
Since its inception seven years ago, thanks to the support from its donors*, [email protected] has grown significantly, both programmatically and geographically, in response to youth employment challenges.
“Opportunities for expansion across development sectors have been explored to meet the programme’s objectives. This adaptive process has led to a wide range of innovations, including alternatives to formal job placements for increasing numbers of young people keen to join entrepreneurship stream of the programme, and to respond to the challenge of sourcing sufficient placements for participants in the internship stream”, said Ms Toelupe Tago – Elisara, Director of the Social Development Programme from SPC.
“On behalf of SPC I would like to congratulate Dr Alepedeva for his leadership in taking over the [email protected] initiative as a response to the rising unemployment challenges in Solomon Islands. SPC will continue to provide advisory support services to MWYCFA towards the implementation of the Programme where needed to ensure the smooth transition of the programme in the next two years”, she added.
* The programme was funded by a range of donor partners including the Pacific Leadership Programme, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Plan International Australia, the Diamond Jubilee Trust for the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme based in the United Kingdom and more recently UNDP. The Solomon Islands Government has also provided financial contributions through the key ministries that are involved with [email protected], including the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA), the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration (MCILI), the Ministry of Development Planning and Aid Coordination (MDPAC), the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation, and Peace (MNURP), and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Veena Singh, Research Officer, Social Development Programme SPC |E: [email protected]