This is Rachel Mondo. Her goal in life is to empower and support youths from her community who have been severely impacted from the Bougainville conflict, where children and teenagers were unable to go to school for almost an entire decade (1988- 1998).
Imagine the impact of an entire generation that doesn’t receive an education. How might this affect their livelihood? Their confidence? Their skills? What might be their capacity to manage a budget, or get a job? Rachel knew that the youth (including the now 20 something’s) in her community were in great need of support and guidance, so as a true leader Rachel took matters into her own hands and built a training centre using her own resources.
When CUFA was engaged by DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs), Bougainville, to run the Bougainville Youth Initiative (BYI) in June 2015, it was evident that Rachel Mondo was a key local leader to work with. Spanning two years, the BYI program was aimed at addressing the education and employment gap born out of the Bougainville conflict, and Rachel was perfectly aligned with this cause.
BYI was the exact opportunity Rachel and the local youth needed- productive activities to pursue and specialised training to engage in. The BYI program included skills training, personal development, employment skills, and even micro-enterprise training to the youths could work together and start their own small businesses. The impacts of BYI were significant as more than 8,000 youths received training and education, with many youths gaining internships and paid employment as a result of the program.
Rachel was also supported by CUFA through BYI, enabling Rachel to join study exchange visits to other villages where she could liaise with and learn from other leaders and mentors.
We are proud and privileged to be able to work with and support people like Rachel Mondo who are creating positive impacts in their community both today, and for many generations to come.