The UN Development Programme (UNDP), in cooperation with the National Youth Congress and the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs, led the process of revitalizing the Provincial Youth Council in Choiseul through a week-long programme.
A leadership workshop involved 16 young representatives from different wards and aimed to empower youth and strengthen their participation in decision-making. As part of the revitalization, Choiseul Youth Council Executives’ elections were held at the end of the programme.
Last year, in close partnership with the Solomon Islands Government, UNDP and National Youth Congress launched the revitalization process in four provinces. After the successful restoration of Provincial Youth Councils in Guadalcanal, Western and Malaita Provinces, the fourth Provincial Youth Council in Choiseul is being re-established to fulfil the role vested upon National Youth Congress.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr. Aaron Olofia, Chairman of the National Youth Congress, underlined the significant role young people play in building an inclusive, united and peaceful nation, stressing that such initiatives help educate young people to unite in a more coordinated manner and more actively communicate their experiences in the youth work sector.
“We need to continue our collective work to provide youth with the opportunity to grow and think inclusively, and in turn, contribute to the development and peacebuilding of our country.”
“This is a worthy initiative, and the National Youth Congress welcomes this, and I know it will become an integral part of the wider youth development programmes,” Mr. Olofia further concluded.
Echoing the same sentiments, Mr. Denton Enrico, Director for Youth at the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA), said, “Youth people make up 70 percent of the Solomon Islands’ population, and they play a crucial role in communities’ development.”
In addition, Mr. Enrico highlighted how closely connected revitalizations at the provincial level and state-building is, “When we give a second life to Provincial Youth Councils, we give youth a platform to talk and impact decisions which affect their lives. When we listen and hear youths’ voices, we reduce conflicts and contribute to our country’s peaceful future.”
Ms. Angelina Ragaruma, UNDP Deputy Project Manager said, “The revitalization of the Youth Council in Choiseul Province will enable young people to stand up for themselves and voice their concerns at provincial and national levels.”
She continued, “You all are young leaders of this province. Thanks to a programme like this, you can stand up for your rights and for something you believe in.”
The revitalization programme of Provincial Youth Councils is part of the Inclusive Governance of Natural Resources Project, which UNDP Solomon Islands and UN Women are implementing with the financial support of the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund.
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