Improving livelihoods

Photo: Jane Ussher

Oxfam is working with local partners in Vanuatu to improve and expand local people's skills so that they can lift themselves out of poverty, for good.

For many young people in Vanuatu, their education is cut short at the end of primary school because the fees are too expensive for their families, and places in secondary schools are restricted. Oxfam is improving livelihoods by working on the Rural Training Centres programme with VRDTCA to provide an opportunity for further education to disadvantaged young people.

These centres are vocational community-based schools, initiated by communities to meet the educational and social needs of youth who have been “pushed out” of the formal education system.

The training centres focus on skills that will improve the quality of life in rural areas. The practical skills taught range from sustainable agriculture, carpentry, mechanics, typing and homecare, to health and legal rights awareness. The centres not only teach skills, but build their attendees' self-esteem and confidence.

After the completion of their training, students can find jobs more easily, especially in mechanics, construction and home care. Their families and communities also benefit from the access to continuing education and the skills that the students bring back to their villages.

Through these opportunities, young people can now make a living for themselves and support their families well into the future.

Oxfam is also working with Farm Support Association (FSA) to increase income opportunities for rural people, for farmers and producers, in order for them to generate a sustainable amount of money from their goods. FSA has reached over 300 organic rural farmers involved in community farming, helping the sector transition from subsistence to small scale market-oriented farming through agricultural training courses.

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