CUFA is delighted to announce that the 3 day Bougainville Youth Initiative Emerging Leaders Congress, held at Arawa in late May and attended by more than 400 young people from across the island, was a resounding success.
The Youth Congress was the culmination of more than two years’ work and collaboration between CUFA and young local men and women aged from 15- 25 years, coupled with the support of village elders, as part of the Bougainville Youth Initiative (BYI) Project.
Known in the local language as the ‘Rot Bilong Ol Angpla Blo Bihain Taim’, the Bougainville Youth Initiative Project was run by CUFA and was sponsored by Australian Government. The purpose of the project was to help young people from across Bougainville to improve their livelihoods and increase their employment opportunities.
Throughout the Congress, the youth showed community leaders and council of elders how the last two years of participating in the CUFA- run project has positively impacted their lives.
There were employment expos for the young people to meet with employers and to speak about the prospects of getting a job, as well as opportunities to express their own business ideas.
Each region of Bougainville’s youth presented on how their community was specifically impacted by the education and assistance they had received from CUFA.
Selected by the local communities themselves, the Youth Project participants created social enterprises made up of at least 20 young people. In developing their social enterprise, each group had to work together and share their existing knowledge and skills, as well as learn new skills guided by CUFA, so that their social enterprise could grow and thrive.
The stories that have already emerged from the social enterprises are empowering and inspiring, such as Bill’s story here.
Watch Bill’s inspiring 1 minute video here.