BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
HONIARA Youth Council (HYC) president says many youths in Solomon Islands still live in uncertain and unsettling times which young people are confronting in every turn.
In a five-day youth leadership retreat at the Ginger Beach, HYC president Mr Harry James Olikwailafa said out of 22,402 of Honiara’s population from 2009 census, 28.6 percent are young people which are living in unsettling times.
He revealed such sentiment to 30 youth leaders and representatives from the HCC-Youth Division staffs, RSIPF and New Zealand Police under the project Solomon Islands Police Support Programme.
“We live in uncertain and unsettling times, complex, unrelated crises confront us at every turn, and we face immersing challenges with devastating economies—all of this leading up to a crisis of confidence.”
He adds that the trust gap is growing wider and for youth it measure in two practical ways such as participation gap and opportunity gap.
Olikwailafa urges organisations and stakeholders to do more in bridging the gaps by drawing innovations, energy and ideas for today’s generation.
With the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force crime prevention strategy 2016—2018, Olikwailafa said it gives them hope and determination to work on addressing youth issues.
He said the strategy provides framework for collaboration and partnership or sharing resources, knowledge and expertise to engage youths in a meaningful activities.
“I believe the five-day youth leadership retreat will help shape young people to become agent of change in the community and built their capacities to engage meaningful in decision-making processes.”
Team Leader for Solomon Islands Police Support Programme, New Zealand Police Mr Paris Razos said the Youth Leadership Retreat is a big start for big commitment for the future.
He said they are appreciative to part of youth development in Solomon Islands through its project which put a lot of focus on youth and value their interests and contribution.
He said, “The reality is young people are an asset, not a liability, you have to embrace young people and create opportunity for them, what they want is a voice.”