Solomons Women Complete Leadership, Character Education Training

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Community members build capacity for ‘peaceful co-existence’

By Stephen Diisango

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, June 2, 2014) – In the Solomons Islands a five day transformational leadership and character education for peaceful co-existence training ended successfully on Friday.

Held at the Mendana Hotel, the training which was dominated by rural women ended with awarding of certificates.

The purpose of the training was to equip and enhance the capacity of local community peace workers with the appropriate knowledge on transformative leadership and peaceful co-existence to encourage flexible engagement in the areas of training, community education, media and advocacy approaches effective and appropriate for Solomon Islands context.

Speaking during the official closing of the workshop training deputy resident representative of United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) Ms Akiko Suzuki said that she was happy that the training program ended successfully and peacefully.

"Days have now passed and I know there has so much sharing, collaboration and healing that took place amongst you all," said Ms Suzuki.

"Most importantly a network of community workers and friendship has been created in this short span of time.

"The concept and knowledge has been delivered and now it is up to share this knowledge in your workplace, your homes and your community.

"Being a community worker is not an easy task, but having the passion for it is what will make you stand out and what will make people draw towards you," she said.

Meanwhile, Josephine Teakeni Director of Vois Blong Mere Solomon (VBMS) acknowledged UNDP in bringing together the VBMS women for peace network in Malaita, Guadalcanal and Honiara to participants in the training.

"It (training) enables VBMS and other national trainers who were trained under the UN-women-Vois Blong Mere Solomon Transformational leadership program to implement this training to rural women.

"You are the first bunch to benefit from this training," she said.

Ms Teakeni added that such training is important for women and men as peace makers and builders in their families and communities which will result in a peaceful SI.

"We raise families; nurture our children and manage homes. Managers of natural and human resources of our country, this is a huge responsibility hence, we need to be constantly empowered to acquired skills and knowledge to take on this great responsibility," she said.

She thanked UNDP for the initiative and the continuing support to sustainable peace in SI.

"This training is a breakthrough for many of our participants.

"For the participants, if anyone is to save our nation, it is us, mothers of SI.

"Today we are here and we will continue to be peace makers and builders in homes and SI," she stressed.

Clera Rikimani the participants’ rep thanked those who contributed towards the training one-way or the other.

"This week is a tiring week for us but we enjoyed the program.

"Now that we have come to an end of this training farewell however a new journey is just to begin and thank God that he guided us throughout this week.

"We believe if we could work together, we can reach our goal.

"Remember you are here for a purpose, and it is to make a difference in peoples’ lives therefore let’s continue to sustain this training when we go back to our homes and communities.

"Let us not stop from here – we are change agents so lets continue to sharing with others.

"Nothing is better than being a peace maker," stated Ms Rikimani.

The training was funded by UNDP in partnership with VBMS and facilitated by staffs of VBMS, Ilukim Sustainability Solomon Islands (ISSI) and Women Federation for world peace Solomon Islands (WFWPSI).

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