In the Solomon Islands, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) recently launched a $3 million project to benefit communities on the islands of Malaita and Guadalcanal, improving livelihood opportunities, building youth resiliency, and motivating the increased participation of youth.The five-year program titled ADRA's Youth Engagement and Livelihood Project began in August 2009 and is funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). It will benefit up to 29 villages in the regions of North Malaita and East Guadalcanal before its completion in June 2014.
During its initial phase, the program works directly with youth, other community members, and civil society organizations to identify the greatest needs in their communities and learn how to better address them, said Rebecca Reye, ADRA Australia's program coordinator for the Solomon Islands.
The project will also provide opportunities in livelihood training for beneficiaries, supply materials, and improve access to commercial markets. Participants will learn various skills such as, financial literacy, personal financial management, and how to run a small business. Additional training will be provided in specific vocational trades such as sewing, weaving, furniture making, crafts, carpentry, and farming.
The project will also educate young people and others in their community on the consequences of destructive behaviors such as substance abuse and risky sexual behaviors. In addition, the project aims to generate greater acceptance of and appreciation for youth participation within their home communities.
The Youth Engagement and Livelihood Project are implemented through a partnership between ADRA Australia, and ADRA Solomon Islands, as part of AusAID's Solomon Islands NGO Partnership Agreement.
To learn more about the work of ADRA Australia, visit www.adra.org.au.