SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS for Rural Youth Project (SLRYP)
The Sustainable Youth Livelihoods Project was developed following the conflict of 2000-2002 in the Solomons.
Visit village pig farmer by SLRYP students (photo: T Jansen)
The Sustainable Livelihoods for Rural Youth Project is designed to create opportunities and livelihoods based on agriculture.
Two years from April 2002.
AusAID (Australian Agency for International Development – a unit of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs).
Kastom Gaden Association, Solomon Islands; Tony Jansen (TerraCircle).
- provide opportunities for rural youth to engage in interesting, meaningful and productive agricultural activity
- assist rural communities to assess and address urgent social and economic needs
- meet basic needs for livelihood and food security in rural communities.
- develop models of youth livelihood agricultural enterprises that build on local knowledge and social structures and that can become sustainable in the long-term
- restore degraded agricultural lands in areas of high population density; diversify smallholder reforestation of degraded land and old coconut plantations
- train participants in skills and models that suit village and social structures.
Excerpt from 2003 monitoring report
Sustainable Livelihoods for Rural Youth Project – excerpts from three-monthly monitoring report, July to September 2003:
- a participatory review of progress made by youth trainees and their family groups completed by a team of five including local farmers from the project steering committee in August 2003 visited 34 youths and families in 11 villages in North and Central Malaita; recommendations of the review are being implemented; Australian volunteer/ capacity builder, Karen Lummis, assisted
- a delay in the receipt of the third project tranche resulted in project activities being suspended for two months to June this year; apart from a tightening of training activities there was no long-term impact on the project, which resumed on receipt of the tranche
- a local committee detected problems in the financial management of the project and took remedial action
- the arrival of RAMSI (the Regional Assistance Mission Solomon Islands – the Pacific nation’s police and military intervention to restore peace and stability to the Solomons, led by Australia) has had no direct impact on the project other than contributing to a general feeling of optimism for the future in rural and town areas; the KGA monitoring team was working in villages in North Malaita without any problems prior to the arrival of the RAMSI force in Malaita.
|Establishing youth livelihoods
- a total of 64 youths have been trained in the first year; the review team indicates a success rate of 71 per cent with 21 per cent continuing, 6 per cent failure and some continuing problems
- the second intake of 60 selected youths was made on Malaita
- new requirements stipulating that entrants must already be practising farming were introduced but despite this, an overwhelming number applied for the 60 places in the Improved Local Kokorako (chicken keeping) and Improved Local Piggery training modules
- a field office has been established in Choiseul in partnership with the local AusAID Community Peace Restoration Fund coordinator for South Choiseul
- a new system is being implemented in which young farmers who achieve certain milestones in their microenterprises obtain tools at a subsidised rate between 50 to 70 per cent; this approach is based on rewarding achievement rather than reinforcing the hand-out mentality perpetuated by many external aid programmes.
|Restoration of degraded agricultural land
- an agroforestry study tour was held in North Malaita in September with 14 young farmers attending
- the use of animal manure on the farms of participating youths is a more sustainable method of improving soil fertility than the use of synthetic fertilisers or traditional burning practices.
|Social structures for livelihood support
- extended family groups continue to serve as the main focus in both provinces (Malaita and Choiseul); the review of the project on Malaita confirms the success of this approach
- in most cases where youths have left the village, family groups continue the small farming business, often with another young person in the family assuming responsibility.
|Building organisational capacity
- steering committees and a memorandum of understanding have been signed with local organisations in Choiseul Province including the Babatana Farmer’s Association, Sasamuqa Community Hospital and the Lauru Federation of Farmers Association
- a network of farmer’s schools that serve as centres for project training is being developed; additional funds from Oxfam Community Aid Abroad Australia have supported basic facilities at three farmer’s schools – two on Malaita and one in Western Province; additional proposals for farmer’s schools have been received and will be considered in 2004
- a team of trainers will start a training program in small business skills for all youths in the programme as the final course of the programme; two Kastom Gaden Association trainers will attend a small business course run by the Small Business Enterprise Centre in Honiara
- the project manager and project director attended a workshop in Australia with Oxfam Community Aid Abroad in the use of the ‘Most Significant Change’ monitoring method; the approach may be trialled in the last quarter of the youth livelihoods project to provide insight into wider, non-quantitative impacts of the project.
|Participatory extension methodology
- a training-of-trainers course was run in November, funded by European Union Micro Projects.
- a training video has been produced; two additional videos are in production
- Ben Okali, a youth ‘school dropout’ from the Malaitan programme has completed a training attachment in video production and editing; he returned to Malaita in October to start production of his own video and to train other youths
- TerraCircle Association provided a journalist in December 2003 to visit the Solomon Islands to collect information for trainee handbooks on agroforestry and pig farming; the publication will be in early 2004.
Sustainable Livelihoods for Rural Youth Project – monitoring report.
Report on visit to Solomon Islands to collect information for SLRYP handbooks.