Youth Empowerment

The Community and Youth Development Program in the MoYSD is run by Olafou. Olafou is a word from the Samoan language meaning new life. The idea of this program is to give young people hope or a chance to contribute to the development of their welfare and well being or even their livelihood. The program targets young people who have dropped out of school and are in their community doing youth work as youth leaders or community work as young people helping out in their communities. It also targets vulnerable young people who are thing of making a change in their lives and their community.

Recently we’re starting to receive few training providers or youth service provides who are providing trainings or perhaps short courses on youth work and even government institutions too also provide few capacity building for youth leaders and as well as youth workers. So Olafou like any other training provides came in to train youth leaders and youth workers to look at ways how they can support and help their youth groups and their communities to develop. And also support that particular young person to have a chance in reaching his/her future in address the development of his/her community and livelihood. 

A Way Forward with Youth Empowerment

There are a number of youth who have finished the program, earning a certificate, and are working with their community and youth group. With these qualifications they can further their studies through the University of Pacific in the Vanuatu campus. We have a group of what we call Soul Society, they are like groups of young people or youth workers who have finish their course in certain levels but are part of the Olafou family who have the passion of working with young people. The Soul Society can be contacted to do community work or youth work in varies places; they can also be used to run trainings around the community and promote youth development. Also with the qualification they have they can apply for any job under any NGO’s or Government departments that has provision for a job around community and youth development, also around disaster preparedness.

We have outreached too few islands apart from Vila and Luganville and plan to look at ways in which we can assist them in their domestic travel and continue to get more into the program to support their communities. The Youth Empowerment Department is also looking at localising the program, but first we have to build a good team of human resources. Next year there will be few projects that the students and former students will be working on to address resilience in the communities in preparing towards disaster.

The Vanuatu National Youth Council aims to serve as a forum in which issues relating to the needs, problems and aspirations of young people can be discussed; to encourage and promote active participation of young people in the political, social, economic, cultural and religious development of their communities and the country, to co-ordinate and unify all youth groups and activities throughout the country under one national youth development programs; to foster, support and develop youth programs and financial schemes which will assist in the enhancement, development and realization of the role and contribution of youth in the development process; and to develop an effective leadership role for the youth of Vanuatu.