Youth empowerment topped the agenda for the Anglican Alliance consultation which opened in Solomon Islands in the Pacific on Sept. 5.
Participants from across the region are meeting at Tetete Ni Kolivuti, a novitiate set in a wilderness area outside the Solomons' capital of Honiara. They are deciding on priorities for the Anglican Alliance which brings together development, relief and advocacy across the Anglican Communion.
The event is being hosted jointly by the Anglican Alliance and the Anglican Church of Melanesia. Participants have come from the Pacific provinces of Aotearoa, New Zealand, Melanesia, Papua New Guinea and Polynesia, from Africa and from Anglican agencies: the Anglican Board of Mission, AngliCORD and the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund in Canada.
On the first of the five-day consultation, participants looked at ways to improve coordination, strengthen the Anglican development, relief and advocacy in the Pacific and build the alliance steering group in the region. They are bringing forward recommendations to make sure that their small island nations, which cover a quarter of the surface of the globe, but have only tiny populations, could have a stronger voice worldwide.
On Sept. 6, the debate was led by Philma Zaku, a young woman from the Solomon Islands, and participants considered a paper on the challenges facing alienated young people in the Pacific.
Later in the week, they will consider papers on the impact of climate change on small island nations, the most vulnerable globally to climate change. They also will visit local projects, including a refuge for women experiencing domestic violence.
The consultation, which concludes on Sept. 9, is the second in a series of regional consultations being held by the alliance. Latin America and the Caribbean region are to hold its consultation in October, while Asia's consultation will take place in November.
The Anglican Alliance for development, relief and advocacy is the international initiative that brings together work across the Anglican Communion. Its mission is to build on the work already being undertaken across the communion, build capacity, coordinate and provide a clear voice in international development.