World Vision's intervention equips Martino with parenting knowledge

World Vision Team at North Malaita
Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Like any other youth, Mr. Martino* and Mrs. Lisa* rushed into marriage and being together was their best choice until they had children. They started to feel they had more responsibilities beyond being together. 

For Martino, it was a struggle as he lacked knowledge about raising his little family. The fatherly role was a burden and a significant challenge since he was not able to prepare for it. 

"When I got married, it was just for the sake of just being married. And when I had children, I did not know the responsibility I needed to provide a safe and loving environment for my children to grow up in. I lacked knowledge," Martino said. 

He said most of the time, he would get angry with his children and be negative around them, and say things he shouldn't have. 

Inadequate parenting practices can result to adverse childhood experiences that can have lasting impacts on children's development and wellbeing. Through the Child Protection component of the Youth Social and Entrepreneurship Development (YSED) project funded by MFAT, World Vision Solomon Islands made an intervention that helped Martino find a better way to care for his young family. 

The intervention included positive parenting training that was conducted towards the end of March this year. The training enabled attendees to learn about positive parenting skills, how to raise children, how to build a strong and supportive home environment, and how to set expectations for how parents want their children to behave. Furthermore, the training included ways parents can manage their children's behaviour through discipline, not punishment. Three hundred twenty-nine people from North and East Malaita were part of the two separate training one at the Northern and the other at East Malaita. The participants were parents and guidance, community and faith leaders, and caregivers aged 18 to 34.  

 "With this training, I now understand my responsibility as a parent and believe that I can do better for my children, especially to provide a safe and loving environment for them to grow and thrive," Martino said. 

Another attendee Mr. Jacob*, said that the training was beneficial. "The training is like a checklist for me since it shows me where I stand as a parent and areas I need to improve on," he emphasised. The 41-year-old school principal and father to three children then suggested that he wants this training to be conducted for other parents, especially in schools.  

The Child Protection component, called YSED+, has an ambitious goal: to turn youth into active contributors and leaders of community social and economic development. The Child Protection component began on January 2022, working to equip adolescents to gain new life skills and play active roles in preventing and reporting family violence, equip parents and caregivers to cultivate violence-free households, enable community and faith leaders to provide support and promote violence-free communities, and strengthen the local child protection system to prevent and respond to family violence. 

Meanwhile, the YSED Project has two approaches or models it uses to implement in the East Malaita and North Malaita communities where it is working. They are the Savings for Transformation model (S4T) and Impact Plus. The S4T approach is based on the savings group model that has been utilized by World Vision in parts of the Solomon Islands since 2013 and has effectively built access to both financial and social capital in rural communities of the Solomon Islands. The project then established the Saving Loan Groups (SLG) or Impact Groups for youths. This includes training youths on financial literacy, budgeting, management, and savings.

The Impact Plus model, on the other hand, advocates for social impact in the communities by engaging Impact Group members, especially the youth to contribute to community activities.

*Note: real names are withheld for safeguarding.