Oxfam Solomon Islands’ Statim Faia project is extending its reach out to Guadalcanal Province, the organisation’s first stretch out of Honiara with its small grant scheme for youth groups.
Youth groups from four communities will join the early phase of the project in mid-February. They come under communities from three constituencies; Niu Birao and Katehana in Central Guadalcanal, Kolona in Northeast Guadalcanal and Hulavu in West Guadalcanal.
These communities have existing partnerships with Oxfam’s Resilience & Adaptation program.
Initial discussions took place in 2018 where the communities raised growing concern for their young population and the rise of youths involved in social problems.
“The aim of Statim Faia is to support young Solomon Islanders to participate and have their voice heard on issues they care about. But it is also an avenue where vulnerable youths can resort to and avoid unwanted activities,” says Oxfam Youth & Governance Officer, Joseph Gesiau.
“Last year’s phase we had 16 youth groups in Honiara who participated in the project. Midway through each year or phase, youth groups receive small grants to help support their project ideas or a business proposal.
“2018 was by far the most successful phase of the project,” he added. “We hope to get our Guadalcanal youths into this project.”
Challenges might be different for young rural residents, Joseph admits, although he assured the Guadalcanal communities that the small grant scheme will give the same amount of support provided for Honiara recipients.
“I have no doubt that young people in Guadalcanal can make positive impacts to their communities with this project as long as we listen to them and respond according to their needs.”
Since its establishment in 2016 the Statim Faia project has been in partnership with the Honiara Youth Council and worked with youth groups only in the capital.
Groups from last year’s phase managed to pull off successful initiatives that range from productions of concrete bricks, beautification and environmental projects, theatre and arts, farming and even a bio-gas project.
Participants go through different trainings for finance management, proposal writing and writing up reports before they spend the next six months on implementation after receiving their small grants.
Oxfam and HYC in November signed an extension of the Statim Faia partnership for 2019 and will be joined by the Guadalcanal youth groups this year.
The Statim Faia project is funded by Comic Relief fund and Royal Commonwealth Society, under the Queen‘s Young Leaders Programme in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s 60 years of service to the Commonwealth.