A new partnership between the New Zealand Government and the Pacific Community (SPC) will see a multi-country youth empowerment programme delivered, beginning in Solomon Islands.
Announced during a visit to the New Zealand-funded Honiara Youth Hub, Minister for Pacific Peoples, Barbara Edmonds, confirmed NZ$2.4 million will be invested to support the establishment of the regional Pacific Youth Engagement, Empowerment and Economic Pathways programme.
“Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to supporting our Pacific whānau to develop pathways for young people to thrive and participate meaningfully in their communities,” Ms Edmonds said.
“This funding will support the programmes to be developed and then delivered by local service providers. These skills-building courses and programmes aim to engage a cohort of young people who are not in education, employment or training.
“It also builds on programmes and partnerships we’re already supporting for example; ChildFund’s Impact Programme, Save the Children’s Protektim Pikinini Moa and World Vision’s Youth Social and Entrepreneurship Development (YSED).
“Our children and young people, with the right skills and pathways, can one day give voice to and help tackle issues and challenges, like climate change, confronting their home countries.”
The Minister said all young people had the potential to contribute to society and were critical voices to inform and influence solutions.
“70% of Solomon Islands population is under the age of 35. This is why having access to vocational, literacy and numeracy skills — and harnessing the potential of young people as the region’s future problem solvers, leaders and innovators — will be essential for a more stable, resilient and inclusive Solomon Islands,” Minister Edmonds said.