Young people from eight communities across Guadalcanal were able to address their issues and concerns to representatives from provincial and local governments and youth stakeholders at the Guadalcanal Youth Forum held yesterday at the Mendana Hotel.
Sixteen young people from eight communities on Guadalcanal presented their views on issues present in their communities, including domestic and family violence, child abuse, drugs and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, fighting and stealing, underage smoking, discrimination, education, medical and health services and community safety.
Stakeholders and Government representatives thanked the young representatives for their presentation and provided some response.
Hon. Brian Tuba, Provincial Member for Sahalu Ward responded by saying, it is good to hear the voices of the children from the eight provinces where Save the Children works.
He said the twelve issues raised by the youths are the very issues faced in our families and communities.
The Youth Forum is part of Save the Children’s Child Protection, Care and Development (CPCD) program, which has been running child clubs and child rights campaigns in the Solomon Islands since 2014.
Meanwhile, the CPCD operates child clubs in Guadalcanal, Malaita, Western Province and Choiseul.
Senior Program Manager Julian Tung said at Save the Children they see child protection and early childhood education as central to development, adding they see it as critical that children’s voices are represented to community and government through such forums to ensure they are incorporated into programs and policies that further development in the country.
A Youth Forum is to follow in Malaita next week.
Save the Children Australia has been working in the Solomon Islands since 1986 in the areas of Education, Health, Child Protection, Emergencies, Disaster Risk Reduction, and Livelihoods.
National operations are based in Honiara and provincial offices inWestern, Choiseul, and Malaita provinces.