BY CHARLES KADAMANA
YOUTHS in Honiara will now a have centre to deal with social and emotional wellbeing issues of young people in the City.
This follows the launching of Tokspot project at Coral Sea resort yesterday.
Tokspot project will be managed by the Honiara City Council’s Youth Division in partnership with ChildFund New Zealand; it came about following a number of research and consultations conducted in Honiara showing that “social and emotional wellbeing of youth was consistently raised”.
Speaking during the launching ceremony yesterday, Deputy Lord Mayor Robert Oge said the project over the next five years will provide specific needs for youths, counselling, capacity building, training opportunities for up to 70 youth workers and eight counsellors.
“A range of life skill training and counselling services will be delivered to some anticipated 17,000 youths to increase their social and emotional skills to build better, safer futures and act for positive change.
“An additional 1500 children and youths will also indirectly benefit from improved knowledge and skills for frontline worker in acute and complex area of child protection services.”
He said the youth workers’ counsellors will receive professional supervisions and build a referral service to link youth to appropriate support services.
He said the project has three components.
The first component is delivery of counselling services and programmes for youth to improve their social and emotional wellbeing.
He said from mid-2021 these programmes will be delivered from the new youth-hub centre located at Multipurpose area with an extension programme delivered to other communities in Honiara.
“Youth will have access to personal counselling services and programmes to address their social and emotional wellbeing issues,” he said.
The second component is building capacity and professional standards to meet the needs of youth.
He said a team of qualified young counsellors and youth workers have already completed specific trainings through APTC and are ready to provide the services from the HCC youth hub centre.
The third component is promotion and sustainability of social emotional wellbeing service for youths.
“This component will promote youth, their caregivers as well as at a government level to ensure the support for social and emotional health issues and services for youth are understood at government level as well as with organisations working with youth, media and communities,” he said.
He said national and local government and other authorities will be encouraged and supported to develop and implement youth inclusive policies, process, project and practices.
Honiara City Youth Development officer Mary Tuhaika told this paper that with the launching of the Tokspot project, it officially tells the youths that services are now available at the Youth hub centre.
She said there are three qualified counsellors and 16 youth workers prepared to deliver counselling and wellbeing services, confidential individual counselling, training and reach-out to communities.
She said a counselling room for one-on-one will open up until June, after which they will start reaching out to the communities to educate and provide trainings for youths on different fields.
She said this project is aligned with the Solomon Islands’ National Youth Policy and Honiara City Council’s Urban Youth Policy.
She said in the future they will expand the project to three constituencies in Honiara to accommodates the increasing population in Honiara.