A National Youth Volunteer Scheme under consideration.
The Prime Minister, Hon. Manasseh Sogavare, has reportedly said his government is looking at creating a National Youth Volunteer Scheme.
The Prime Minister explained the concept by outlying his ideas in a recent address during World Youth Day celebrations in Honiara.
According to Mavis Podokolo, writing in today, Island Sun newspaper, the PM said.
“This will involve putting in place the legal and policy structure under which this concept will be developed and where all our youths that have graduated in all our Rural Training Centres and all youths looking for employment can become part of.
“Our volunteer cadres can form consortiums for humanitarian support nationally and even in the broader Pacific region,” said Sogavare.
He said his government will be finalising the Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Policy this year to provide a new platform for youth empowerment, employment, and entrepreneurship in the country.
“My government is currently analysing the concept of establishing ‘National Youth Cooperatives’ to promote the concept that while it is difficult for every youth to own their own business, it is possible that through a Cooperative, many young people can be shareholders or joint-owners of a Cooperative Society,” said Mr. Sogavare.
Two things come to mind about what the Prime Minister envisaged as volunteer options for the youth. The first relates to what I wrote recently about a “Land Army” to work in the informal sector growing a succession of crops to benefit the economy and return the youths with personal rewards, much the same as kava farmers have received in recent weeks.
The second thought I had relates to youths being given the chance of doing humanitarian work in the region in return for some form of sponsorship earnings.
The members of the RSIPF that were seconded to undertake peace missions and humanitarian assistance in South Sudan excelled in their duties, so why not the youths working nearer to home?
Incidentally, in 1998, I arranged for humanitarian law and procedural training for the forerunners of today’s police response unit. The same could be repeated if the occasion arises.
It is also encouraging to know, today, the police are conducting border patrols while combining humanitarian work with community policing.
In a separate article in today’s Island Sun, also contributed by Ms Mavis Podokolo, the Prime Minister has called for volunteer youth groups to help keep Honiara clean in preparation for the 2023 Pacific Games.