The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) partnership program, RSIPF-AFP Policing Partnership Program (RAPPP), has rolled out its Youth & Community Engagement Program (YCEP) starting in Honiara.

Under this program, RAPPP members visited schools and communities to engage with students and youths to identify current and emerging issues affecting them. AFP officers serving under the Solomons’ International Assistance Force (SIAF) supported these visits.

The RAPPP’s YCEP is keen to share information it gathers from these visits with the RSIPF to inform future community engagement activities.

The first schools visited were St. Nicholas High School and King George Sixth School. RAPPP and SIAF members visited and conducted information session for form 6 and 7 students of these schools. Both schools requested these sessions.

Both schools have a number of students applying for scholarships in both Australia and New Zealand. SIAF members used the sessions to educate students about what is like living in Australia and New Zealand. They provided insight into studying in Australia and New Zealand.

During these sessions, RAPPP’s YCEP team members introduced themselves to these schools. A number of teachers from these schools accompanied the visiting team.

Students also get to ask questions and learn about important things like laws and policing, gun violence, cyberbullying, police experiences and more.

YCEP’s team member, Roy Kimisi, said they have also visited Choviri community and engaged with youths there. Kimisi is one of AFP’s locally engaged contractors.

He said their visit to communities would help increase youths’ awareness around important issues including law and policing.

Kimisi said the RAPPP YCEP also used the community visits to listen and learn from the youths and the community. “It’s important that we get that feedback to identify issues that will help prevent and minimise issues affecting youths in the communities”.

He added their visit to Choviri community gave them the chance to meet with leaders in the community and they briefly discussed issues community leaders highlighted as ones affecting their youths and the community leaders also share how they are struggling to cope with these issues.

“During our visit to Choviri, youth groups in this community gave us a traditional welcome and after the program, we were invited to dance with members of the community. It was fun and it shows the community’s partnership spirit,” Kimisi said.

Source: Press Release