The Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are two nations in a larger Pacific island group called Melanesia. Poverty and the changing climate are key issues, as the local economy is supported largely by remittances from outside the country and the land is threatened by rising sea levels and frequent natural disasters. The islands are also remote and difficult to access.
Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Anglican Church of the Province of Melanesia (ACOM) to reduce disaster risk, promote climate-adaptive agricultural techniques and strengthen the local economy through savings groups and small business development.
In both the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, ACOM’s Rural Training Centers (RTCs) empower people with limited formal education to gain skills and strengthen the social and economic well-being of their communities. The RTCs aim to provide quality training and education in formats that meet the needs and expectations of students, and to actively increase women’s access and enrollment.
In Vanuatu, ACOM is leading community-based efforts to improve the environment and local food supply by planting trees to combat erosion and promoting innovative small-scale farming techniques that maximize crop variety and use of available land. Savings with Education groups offer opportunities for individuals to build up their savings and access micro-finance services for small business development. The groups also discuss and take action on local social issues and disaster risk reduction in their communities.