Tina Hydro delivers more capacity building training for project  communities

More capacity building training for women, youth and men of the Project catchment area was delivered by the Tina River Hydropower Development Project (TRHDP) under the Gender Action Plan (GAP) last week in the form of a social media and marketing training course.  The 3-day event was held at Verabariki and Ngongoti community hall in Bahomea with over 50 participants in attendance, 90% of which were women and girls, many of whom run small community-based businesses.   

The social media and marketing training focused on teaching various techniques for small business owners to better present their products and services, handle promotions and how to create engaging customer connections. Participants were taught how to take photographs of products, come up with content strategy and how to build a customer base. They then received hands-on training to help improve their marketing skills by learning how to use the Canva application on their mobile phones to create content for social media platforms such as TikTok, Facebook and Instagram.   

Facilitator Mr. James Dolarii said that the training is key to supporting catchment communities with their small business marketing and help build their confidence. “I am pleased to teach them how to use Canva, a simple video and poster design application.  It is the rural people who need it most and this training will assist by teaching them alternative ways to sell more produce and make more income.”   

During the sessions, local women discussed the difficulties they experience as small business owners not being able to widely market the selling of their local produce from rural Guadalcanal.  But now with these new skills, they are confident it will help them reach more customers and be able to manage the supply and demand aspect of business more efficiently.  

“Most times, I over supplied my produce and waste some. Now that I have completed this social media marketing training, it has given me valuable knowledge on a more effective way to market,” said Nesta Ben one of the participants from Valejomara. “And now I can do promotions through my posters and videos to customers online. This will be so helpful, and I will only need to prepare what people have actually ordered via the phone, so I can do away with over supplying.”  

Under the Tina River Hydropower Development Project, the Gender Action Plan focuses on delivering livelihood programs for community people within the project communities to help women, girls, youth and men to be able to improve their lives and make positive changes.   

“I am pleased that women, men and youth participated in this first of a kind training. Social media marketing is a new topic and different to our usual capacity building training but, we are moving with the times, and it is key to address common challenges faced by the rural communities, one of which is marketing. Most of these participants support their family needs by selling their products at the Honiara Central Market, which can be difficult and takes a long time to reach. I believe with this training, participants have learned new knowledge and skills that will enable them to connect (online) with more buyers in Honiara for instance, and by which they can sell their products to,” said Helen Dolaiano, Gender Officer for Tina Hydro River Project Office.   

The project, which is being implemented by the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) has financing and support from multiple stakeholders including the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the Asian Development Bank, the Government of Australia, the Green Climate Fund, Korea EX-IM Economic Development Cooperation Fund, and the World Bank.  It will continue to deliver more GAP programs through 2024 with Agriculture training next on the agenda to help women, youth and men be better equipped to benefit from income generating opportunities.   

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