By EDDIE OSIFELO
FOUR stakeholders have highlighted their different roles in dealing with child and children in the country.
Empower Pacific, Family Support Centre, Seif Ples, Plan International and Honiara City Council Youth Division explained their work during the “Building Safe Environments for Children and Young People in Solomon Islands: Local Partners Even” in Honiara yesterday.
Dalcy Viuru of Empower Pacific said they provide mainly counselling and social services in partnership with Seif Ples.
According to its website, the Empower Pacific Branch has been providing Counselling services since 2016.
The branch is located in Honiara National Referral Hospital.
Currently, Empower Pacific Solomon Island counselling programs are being funded by ChildFund and the University of the South Pacific (USP).
The counsellors also provide training and counselling to the staff and in-patients at the Ministry of Health – National Referral Hospital. One to one counselling sessions and trainings are conducted for issues such as Depression, Anxiety, Stress, NCDs (Diabetes, High Blood Pressure), Amputations, Mental Health Care, Grief and Loss.
Furthermore, Lorio Sisiolo of FSC said they provide counselling, free legal information and legal representation in court for clients.
She said currently there is no hotline at FSC and counselling service has stopped at the moment.
Sisiolo said there is a child friendly space at the Centre following the SEED project which started in July this year.
Currently, there are nine FSC committees in the provinces with Western province (Gizo, Noro), Isabel (Buala and Kolotobi), Central Province (Tulagi), Guadalcanal (Marau), Makira (Kirakira) and Temotu (Lata and Neo).
Further to that, Lorah Etega of Seif Ples said it is a multi-sectoral agency that links with Ministry of Police, National Security and Correction Service and Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
She said the Police comes in the legal side with help of Criminal Investigation Department and Sexual Assault Unit and Ministry of Health assists with doctor to help victims.
Etega said between 2014-2021, about 80 percent to 90 percent of children accompanied their mothers to Seif Ples.
She said the adults were only 10 percent to 20 percent.
Further to that, she said 54 percent below 15 years old were victims of rape and 46 percent above 15 years.
Etega said with funding assistance, Seif Ples has created a child friendly environment by providing toys and other stuffs to keep children busy while staying with their mothers.
On the other hand, Plan International Solomon Islands has helped youths in Solomon Islands through the Growing Up Online.
This was a series of workshops and activities around online safety as part of the National Youth Forum on Cyber Safety.
This came about after in October 2020, Plan International Australia, ChildFund Australia and Western Sydney University, funded by the Australian Government, launched Online Safety in the Pacific.
This was a report highlighting the challenges and opportunities children’s technology use presents in the Pacific.
In addition, the Honiara City Council’s Youth Division in partnership with ChildFund New Zealand have launched the Tokspot in April this year.
It came about following a number of research and consultations conducted in Honiara showing that “social and emotional wellbeing of youth was consistently raised”.
The five years project will provide specific needs for youths, counselling, capacity building, training opportunities for up to 70 youth workers and eight counsellors.
All four stakeholders have work in collaboration with ChildFund Australia and ChildFund New Zealand.