HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS – This week 12 young women learnt media and digital storytelling skills to help them have a voice on issues affecting young women in Solomon Islands.

A digital story is a new medium which combines photography, music, audio narrative and text. It is a powerful and simple tool to express people’s lives, identity and the issues that affect them.

During the four day workshop, which closes today, participants produced digital stories on issues such as youth unemployment, teenage pregnancy, water supply and the positive contribution of young women to society.

“Sustainable development demands that people participate in the debates and decisions that affect their lives. Young women are no exception,” said Ms. Afu Billy, Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) Pacific Centre Regional Director.

“By focusing on women and girls, we also accelerate social, economic and political progress”, said Ms. Billy.

The project is the result of a partnership between the CYP Pacific Centre and Girls4Change, a local young women’s leadership group.

Girls4Change are young Solomon Islands women between the ages of 15 and 29 who are making positive changes in their lives and communities.

“Girls4Change works towards a future where young Solomon Islands women participate equally and contribute meaningfully as respected leaders in their communities. Digital storytelling is a one way we can help young women do that,” said Ms. Mary Jionisi, President of Girls4Change.

“After a successful pilot project last year, we found that digital storytelling is a creative and innovative way for young women to explore issues in a non-threatening way,” said Ms. Jionisi.

In-kind and financial support has been provided by a number of organisations specialising in media production and youth development, including Honiara City Council, Save the Children, YWCA Solomon Islands and the UNESCO Apia Office for the Pacific States.

For more information please contact CYP Pacific Centre Regional Director Ms. Afu Billy on +677 38374 or +677 38375k.

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