Suva, Fiji – “The SPC’s Community Education and Training Centre (CETC) really built a good foundation for me and has brought me to where I am today.”
Ms Kathy Solomon of Vanuatu was reflecting on her journey that began when, at the age of 16, she was selected to study at CETC, a part of the Education, Training and Human Development Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
After the seven month course at CETC Ms Solomon took up a position with the Vanuatu government as a Women’s Interest Officer on her home island of Malekula, with responsibility for the communities on three other islands.
“After graduating from CETC, I was able to do more for the women in the community,” she said.
Ms Solomon not only does more for women, but in her role as Director of the Vanuatu Rural Development Training Centre Association (VRDTCA), she oversees an association of 39 training centres that teach men women and children a variety of skills including trades such as mechanics, joinery and construction.
[Kathy Solomon on her recent visit to CETC in Narere]
Before this, she spent time in Australia where she obtained a Diploma in Business and completed her Degree studies.
“By being with other women and learning some basic things, CETC has given me a very good base to continue from,” said Ms Solomon.
Dr Lia Maka, Head of CETC, said that the vital role played by CETC is not just about empowering the women graduates within their own lives.
“Since the inception of CETC 49 years ago, 1,600 women throughout the Pacific have graduated, and like Ms Solomon, they work to improve the lives of others.
“They are trainers , making substantial changes in their own communities throughout the Pacific Region. They show leadership, play a role in the church, in decision making and in teaching people. I can guarantee that they have a very big influence,” she said.
Certainly, Ms Kathy Solomon is playing an influential role within the communities of Vanuatu.