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Youth Visioning for Island Living - What does the future hold?

A Project of UNESCO, Paris

Youth Visioning for Island Living has taken great steps forward in 2006 and recorded a significant in-crease in activities. This development has contributed to fine tuning the project’s work and also high-lighted the necessity of formulating a long term strategy for the future. On top of that - and possibly more importantly – we see the first signs of the expected effects and successes with the completion of sub-projects and the start of follow-up activities.

 

Three projects were completed during this period, sixteen projects are currently underway and five more are at the planning stage. The two projects mentioned below highlight some of the most significant achievements of Youth Visioning for Island Living. The efforts that young people have made to im-prove living conditions in their communities really are exemplary and fully deserve to be recognised.

 

The group prepared contributions for the radio progamme.
The 'Dream Cast Drama Group' on stage.

In Tonga, Ebonie Fifita ran the ‘On the Spot’ radio programme. Their group prepared contributions for the radio, discussions and music to increase awareness of the UN Millennium Development Goals. In spite of facing a number of challenges, including the destruction of their recording studio during recent riots, the group is now working on promoting youth music and radio plays with the support of the local business community.

 

On the Solomon Islands, Kennedy Folasi inspired a group of unemployed young people in his ‘Dream Cast Drama Group’ to dramatise issues that were relevant to them. With the experience they gained four of the members found jobs and a fifth returned to school. Parents now openly support the group because they have come to recognise the potential of this initiative. ‘Dream Cast’ is now looking for a permanent theatre to stage their performances and to train new members and is also taking their work out into other provinces.

 

Towards the end of the first six months of the year there was a considerable number of project propos-als. Although eighteen per cent are at the planning stage, many of the leaders showed little or no interest actually putting their proposals into practice. This gave rise to the necessity to adopt a proactive role in looking for young people who will enthusiastically take the initiative forward - they didn’t have to have attended the Mauritius conference or even know about the Youth Visioning initiative. Conse-quently special attention was paid to publicity work and spreading the Youth Visioning message from April to June:

 

  • The first circular in April 2006 was distributed by a network of over 1,200 partners; this in-cluded a call for new project proposals.
  • The cooperation with the Youth for a Sustainable Future Pacifika (YSFP) organisation en-abled us to use their network.
  • Participation in the first Pacific Youth Festival (Tahiti) in July provided another opportunity to publicise the initiative.

There was a lot of positive feedback as a result and the second half of 2006 became the busiest phase of implementing the project.

 

After that, towards the end of August, the second and third applications were received from the same island which put dramatic pressure on the available funds; this, in turn, made a budget revision essen-tial.

 

The decision was taken to hold back every second application and to concentrate on those countries which still had to implement a project. These islands were given adequate time in a ‘last chance’ request to confirm whether they were still interested in implementing the project. This measure allowed the successful completion of five office projects that the committee had approved three months earlier.

 

By the end of October, following an 18 month search for a project, the participants at the Mauritius Conference had had sufficient opportunity to submit their proposals. Therefore, project proposals were only assessed and approved from those islands which had already completed a project– the aim being to initiate as many projects as possible by the end of 2007.

 

 

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