‘Simbo for Change’ project achievement - Solomon Star News

‘Simbo for Change’ project achievement

14 August 2017
Beekeeping is one of the income-generating activities the women of Simbo have established. Proceeds from the sale of honey are invested in their savings clubs. [Photo supplied]

Simbo for Change has achieved a major milestone by helping Simbo to become the first organically certified island in the Solomon Islands.

The audit for organic certification was conducted in June by the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia, with funding from PLP and technical support from Women in Business Development Inc (WIBDI).

This process included the inspection of farms, interviews with farmers, verification of mapping and the establishment of organic management processes. It marked the culmination of four years of work by project partners and the community, including major clean-up campaigns and broad-scale mapping of the island.

Organic certification now opens the way for the creation of niche agricultural products for local and export markets and the development of organic tourism projects on the island.

This will complement other income-generating activities and savings clubs already established under Simbo for Change, with support and training from PLP and WIBDI.

These initiatives have been largely implemented by Simbo women, with the support

of Simbo men in some aspects of the project to maintain community cohesion and safeguard project sustainability.

PLP continues to work with Oxfam to reduce gender-based violence in the Solomon Islands under the Safe Families Program.

Program partners have agreed that PLP’s training and support should now narrow its focus to the executive committees of the

program’s provincial alliances for maximum impact. The executive committees include the Ministry of Health, Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, Department of Corrections, International Planned Parenthood Foundation, Oxfam, representatives

from beneficiary communities, provincial councils of women and Vois Blong Meri. Alliance executives and Oxfam staff in Auki, Malaita and Lata, Temotu were provided with adaptive leadership training by PLP in April 2017.

This resulted in the development of key messages to promote gender equality and new ways to mobilise provincial stakeholders in the prevention and response to gender based violence.

PLP and Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry are finalising a Terms of Reference for a scan of the country’s private sector.

The scan will identify pathways for progress on key private sector policy reforms, and is expected to be completed by September 2017.