A $3 million Grant Agreement to construct Temotu Province’s first ever Youth and Children Resource Centre was signed between the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs and the Temotu Provincial Government last week.
Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA), Dr Cedrick Alependava and Temotu Provincial Secretary Mr Allan Agassi signed the grant agreement at a signing ceremony held in the provincial township, Lata.
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 half of the Solomon Islands youth belong to rural area 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.
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 Centre project in close collaboration with the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) and the Temotu Provincial Government.
“It is our priority to strengthen policy coherence and stronger cooperation between line ministries and the province, so that we can collectively direct our attention to the needs and aspirations of the youths of Temotu Province and Solomon Islands,” said PS Alependava.
The Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs is now pushing for implementation of infrastructure development that will accommodate the activities and needs of our young people and children in the province.
This initiative includes the construction of youth and children resources centres 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 i) support implementation of women, youth and children’s policies targeting socio-economic activities in urban and rural communities and ii) strengthen and increase support for women and youth empowerment programs.
Meanwhile, Premier of Temotu Province Clay Forau Solai acknowledged the national government through the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs for the grant assistance.
Premier Forau assured the Ministry that his government is committed to ensure the project will be completed in the given timeframe, by the end of the year, to provide the needed space and resources to empower young people of Temotu Province to be able to contribute to their society and national development.
Tendering process will take place as soon as funds are received to be followed by a ground breaking ceremony. In addition, in 2020 young people (15-34 years old) of Temotu Province is estimated to be around 10,224 of the total population of around 25,2227, which is 40.5% of the total population.
70 percent of the total population in Solomon Islands in 2015 were below 34 years of age and is projected to increase to about 605,000 by 2030.