Caritas partners with the Diocese of Tarawa and Nauru through several small Catholic groups to deliver programmes focused on climate awareness and youth leadership, training for women, developing sustainable livelihoods and agricultural training for youth.
Kiribati Health Champions
In the second half of this year we will launch our Kiribati Health Champions project which will promote nutrition and healthy lifestyles to reduce the risk factors of noncommunicable disease among adults and child malnutrition. The project will deliver nutrition leadership training to women and youth, will support community health promotion and will build the capability of community-based organisations. Communities in South Tarawa will initially benefit from the health programme before it is expanded to include four outer islands over the next four years.
Training for Teitoiningaina Women (Teitoiningaina - Catholic Women’s Association)
Caritas is supporting Teitoiningaina (Catholic Women’s Association) to provide training in Parishes for their members in South Tarawa and looking to expand the training to women’s groups in several of the outer islands. Many women have limited knowledge about nutrition and prefer to buy fast and easy food like packet noodles to feed their children because it’s cheaper and quicker. This is combined with limited knowledge about how to cook vegetables in a way that means that they are still tasty.
The lack of good food is also due to a lack of money in the household. Improving the financial literacy of women will help improve the well-being of the family.
Climate Awareness and Youth Leadership (Caritas Kiribati Youth Group)
The Caritas Kiribati Youth Group are a small group of Catholic youth in South Tarawa who are committed to increasing their knowledge as well as the awareness of others on the issues of climate and human impact on Kiribati.
Youth participate in training on climate concerns and learn how to present key issues and mitigation approaches. Young people then travel in small groups to outer islands to share their learnings with remote communities.
*This project feeds into our advocacy work on Environmental Justice.
Livelihood Sustainability (Christian Community Leaders)
The aim of the project is to establish a practical gardening component to the Catechist training on Abemama Island. Supporting students to learn practical gardening skills will help to supplement their diet and food sources while studying. Gardening can also potentially provide a small income from the sale of any excess vegetables which in turn will help set families up to improve their diet and self-sufficiency.
Youth Coconut Tree Planting (Abaiang Parish Youth Group)
This project seeks to support young people to replant coconut trees on their own land as an investment in the future for their own livelihoods. Coconut trees provide a source of income and livelihood for I-Kiribati as the source of copra (there is a copra mill in South Tarawa), toddy sugar (coconut palm sap), and potentially virgin coconut oil. Recently, Abaiang Island was certified as an organic island and work began with making and selling organic toddy sugar.
Coconut trees take up to seven years to bear fruit, by involving young people in planting their family lands they receive a small income and gain increased knowledge of coconut planting and care.