(SAMOA) — Culinary Arts and Food Service have received a nice boost through Teen Challenge Samoa, the recipients of $5,000 tala in resources from the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development and the Samoa One UN Youth Employment Programme.
The resources — stove, cutlery, pots, storage containers, coolers and other kitchen essentials are "for enterprise ventures in the food service industry providing youth with basic skills for deployment in the hospitality sector or [the] start of their own business," the MWCSD announced in a statement.
Formed in 2017, Teen Challenge Samoa, a faith-based organization, is a partner of the MWCSD, working to support youth in Samoa.
"Unemployment has been identified as a contributing factor to youth being involved in criminal activity and thus is a focus of MWCSD and Teen Challenge," the statement reads.
During the ceremony, where the resources were presented, Assistant Chairman of the Board for Teen Challenge, Pastor Inu Amosa Pouoa pointed out that “up to 40 percent of the 180 youth that came to their program are unemployed”.
"The need for employment and proper training to engage these young people will alleviate their situations and some of the underlying causes of issues affecting their morale and character," added Pastor Amosa.
“The initiative has received wide support from the business community and churches in the town area and will be properly acknowledged”.
Nanai Sovala Agaiava, ACEO for Economic Development at the MWCSD said: ”these assets and resources will serve to provide youth with new skills and opportunities for their future”.
TCS provides ‘Youth Building Peace’ trainings and workshops for out-of-school and college youth to discuss topics such as school fights, bullying, and the different types of assaults.
The focus is placed on finding ways to minimise youth delinquency.
TCS assists out-of-school youths in an employment transitional social enterprise to provide and support ‘employment’ practices.
Ethics, customer service and financial literacy training are given to youth to help them transition into permanent employment or entrepreneurship.
The project is funded and supported by the MWCSD and the Samoa One UN Youth Employment Programme.
Both agencies aim to decrease unemployment and eventually reduce youths’ invcfolvement in criminal activities contributing to a safer Samoa.
Pastor Amosa and Director of Samoa Teen Challenge, Eric Poe, acknowledged the support by the MWCSD and the Samoa One UN Family.
The ceremony was held Tuesday, March 13 at the Teen Challenge headquarters at Apia Harvest Centre Church, Togafuafua.
(Source: Press Release, Communications Unit, Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development)