By Francis Sivita
OLA Fou students of Solomon Islands welcomed their friends from Vanuatu and Kiribati on Thursday last week at the SWIM compound, east of Honiara.
After the traditional welcome they continued with their normal programme up to Saturday where the diploma students got into groups and did their last presentation.
According to one of the diploma students, the Ola Fou programme was first held here in Honiara with few participants from the local communities surrounding Honiara.
He said from the first students it was then localised to Western and Malaita province and that is when he and few other locals joined.
He added that graduating with an Ola Fou certificate allows one to work in any Pacific country.
Speaking to one of the diploma students from Santo Vanuatu he said the Ola Fou programme really gives positive impacts to their communities back home especially on the youths.
He also expressed how privileged he was to be here in the Solomons.
He said being here really helped in his studies, where he learnt that some of the traditional values here are similar while some are different to his.
With the differences, he says it helps him solve some issues he faces in his community.
The Ola Fou programme is from New Zealand and with the help of one of the United Church members who came to Solomon Islands six years ago.
Ola Fou is part of Praxis – an educational organisation operating in the Pacific Islands, New Zealand and Australia.
Ola Fou means ‘new life’, it is an educational initiative aimed at supporting Pacific based youth workers to develop their leadership skills and gain a qualification around working with young people in their community.