Solomon Islands: Mark the 42nd year of independence with the creation of an annual Youth Initiative Award.
I wrote recently about eleven years old Samuel Jason Voda Marsh, a fifth-grader at Honiara International School (Woodford) who joined officers from the Ministries of Environment and Fisheries to tag and release back into the wild, a juvenile Green Marine Turtle.
Samuel didn’t want the turtle captured and eaten.
Samuel’s initiative got me to think about the untold stories of youths in the Solomon Islands that have overcome personal adversity and created a positive change in their lives. I thought, too, of youths who have contributed to charitable projects in their communities.
I believe there are many young people that fall into one or other category and should be recognized as inspirational role models.
Why not create an annual Youth Award for teenagers, boys and girls, between the ages of 12 and 18, for example in recognition of their inspirational efforts or charitable achievements for others.
Such an award scheme could provide business, community and civic leaders an opportunity to actively demonstrate their belief and support for the young people in the community.
A stipend of say, SBD$5,000 might be made available to the winner, which if involved in charity work, could support their cause.
The criteria and eligibility rules for a National Youth Initiative could easily be drafted and adopted.
As unemployment remains high in the Solomon Islands teenagers need support and recognition for their accomplishments, often over the odds, but seldom do they get the recognition and praise many deserve.