A $5 Million Grant Agreement to construct Malaita Province’s first ever Youth and Children Resource Centre was signed between the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs and the Malaita Provincial Government on Monday 26th September, 2022 at the Auki Provincial Head Quarter.
Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA), Dr Cedrick Alependava and Malaita Premier Hon. Daniel Suidani signed the grant agreement at a signing ceremony held in the provincial township, Auki.
Permanent Secretary Dr Alependava said the signing of the grant agreement demonstrates the national government commitment to address youth development and empowerment in the country.
He stressed that more than 70% of the Solomon Islands’ youth and children belong to Malaita Province mostly in the rural areas and their place of living has significant implication on lives of young people therefore rural youth are marginalized on the ground of accessibility to education, employment, resources and participation. For this reason, the National Government through the MWYCFA will be giving $5 million grant agreement to Malaita Province for the Youth and Children Center.
Therefore, partnership will continue to be key in the way youth development is approached and MWYCFA remains committed to work closely with provincial governments to jointly address the challenges facing youths.
“My Ministry aims to deliver this Youth and Children Center project in close collaboration with the Malaita Provincial Government, it is our priority to strengthen policy coherence and stronger cooperation between ministries and the province, so that we can collectively direct our attention to the needs and aspirations of the youths of Malaita Province and Solomon Islands,” said PS Alependava. 2
In addition to that, PS Alependava also states that “It is our priority to implement these infrastructure developments that will accommodate the activities and needs of our young people and children in the province”.
The Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs is now in the process to bid for $5 million for funding support in the 2023 government development budget for the implementation of infrastructure development that will accommodate the activities and needs of our young people and children in Malaita province.
This initiative includes the construction of youth and children resources center in all provinces as well as provision of programmes and resources that will enhance the capacity of young people to venture into worthwhile socioeconomic activities.
This is in line with the DCGA social policy redirection to;
MWYCFA also hosted a dinner to mark the grant agreement signing. PS Dr Alependava was able to invite Hon Premier Daniel Sudani and his senior provincial government officials and the Rep for Youth Council at the Auki Lodge on the 26th September, 2022 for the official dinner.
Meanwhile, Premier of Malaita Province Hon. Daniel Suidani acknowledged the national government through the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs for the $5 million grant agreement that was signed.
Premier Suidani assured the Ministry that his MARA government had identified a land and agreed for the Youth and Children Center to be built in Kwaibala, Auki Township.
In addition, Premier Suidani stated that he ensure that his government is committed with the Ministry to provide the needed space and resources to empower young people of Malaita Province to be able to contribute to their society and the national development.
Temotu Province had received $3Million funding from the MWYCFA for the construction of their youth and children resource center. Temotu province is now in the tendering process to identify a contractor to be followed by a ground breaking ceremony soon.
Western Province also received $3 Million funding from the MWYCFA for the construction of their youth and children resource center. Western Province is also in the tendering process to identify a contractor to be followed by a ground breaking ceremony by November this year.
Additionally, Isabel Provincial Government have already signed grant agreement of $3Million with Ministry of Women Youth Children and Family Affairs last month and will soon be receiving their funding for the youth center project this year. 3
MWYCFA is anticipating to expand this same support to all other provinces, ultimately to establish these infrastructures and mechanisms that will promote delivery of youth programs and services reaches down to young people in the rural areas.