Supporting talents of youth in Savai’i

May 5, 2017

Georgina Bonin, Assistant Resident Representative of UNDP, hands over tools to the representative of the Auala youth group in Savai’i. Photo credit: UNDP/N.Vaa/2017

Representatives of the Samoa One-United Nations Youth Employment Programme (One-UN YEP) and the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development (MWSCD) of the Government of Samoa paid a visit to the island of Savai’I on 2 May 2017  to meet some of the beneficiaries of the YEP and to monitor progress of current projects. 

Eight youth groups are involved in innovative initiatives aimed at producing handicrafts with recycled objects, and engaging an increasing number of youth in the production process. 


 Gataivai and Pu’apu’a youth groups’ representatives at the handover ceremony. Photo credit: UNDP/N.Vaa/2017.

Through the One-UN YEP, each group received WST 3,500 and equipment to support their projects. The Gataivai youth group was given tools to start their work on producing furniture from used tires while the Matavai and Auala youth groups will focus on creating crafts using old newspapers and magazines. “What was considered waste will now become products that can be sold at the market,” explained Nanai Savala, ACEO of the Economic Division of MWSCD.

The Pu’apu’a youth Group will work on creating new handicrafts by recycling waste, but their main activity is built around Mr. Alama Muaulu Taala’s talent who has exceptional skills in fixing sewing machines. Mr. Taala was taught by his father to repair sewing machines and is now passing on his knowledge to youth in his village. 

These ground-breaking projects, while small scale, are extremely important. On the one hand, they contribute to youth economic empowerment and, on the other hand, have a positive environmental impact at community level as they focus on reducing waste and extending the lifecycle of used items by repurposing them. 

Ms. Lizbeth Cullity, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, attended the handover ceremony and met the leaders of the youth groups. “We want to help young people develop livelihoods and ensure that their efforts are more lucrative and that the money they make will enable them to have a higher standard of living. One-UNYEP is about skills building and opportunity creation,” she said. 

“We hope that with this material youth groups will generate not just the interest but also some income for their vulnerable families,” added Mr Savala.


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