Personal Viability in the Solomon Islands

Personal Viability (PV) & GULL Honiara, Solomon Islands | 15-18 April, 2011


Honiara, Solomon Islands
Inaugural Personal Viability (PV) and GULL graduation and celebration event, Friday, 15 April, 2011.

Entrepreneurial Development Training Centre (EDTC) Limited and its innovative ‘Personal Viability’ (PV) action learning system is based in Papua New Guinea where thousands of people have benefited from its holistic, community-based development approach. PV is highly regarded throughout the Pacific region and the first PV-GULL graduation event in the Solomon Islands took place on 15 April 2011.

(Above left) Solomon Islanders are renowned for the warmth of their welcome with traditional music and home-grown food.

(Above right) The ceremony was attended by 121 PV graduates who received their foundation PV and GULL awards.




The Solomon Islands and Personal Viability

The Solomon Islands spans a geographical area of approximately 1,500 kilometres, encompassing some 900 tropical islands of which 350 are inhabited. There are nine provinces and 87 different languages are spoken by a population of 600,000 people.

Around 80 per cent of working age people are engaged in non-monetary (or subsistence) living and agriculture and fishing are key activities. Logging is a relatively recent source of economic development but this source of growth is considered to be unsustainable and so the country is actively seeking to broaden the base of its economy. The focal areas for economic growth are mining, agricultural exports, fisheries and tourism.

Given the economic profile of the Solomon Islands, the ‘Personal Viability’ (PV) holistic development process is critically important to enabling participants to gain the confidence and personal growth needed to establish and sustain new forms of entrepreneurial activity. PV is strongly supported by both community and political leaders.

(Right) Dr Samuel Tam, MBE, CSI, OL is the founder of Personal Viability and since its inception, PV has trained more than 25,000 people in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.




Why was PV established?
An invitation from Samson Lowa to Samuel Tam

In 1994, Samson Lowa, a church leader in Papua New Guinea, began a conversation with Samuel Tam about the problems confronting his members. Many had little or no work and were struggling to survive. In response to this need, PV was established.

Given the key role that the Right Reverend Sir Samson Lowa, Head of the United Church of Papua New Guinea played in the inception and development of PV, the PV-GULL team were delighted that he was able to attend the first Solomon Islands graduation event. Here, Samson accepted GULL’s honorary doctorate in recognition of his long-term contribution to community development and for his support for the PV training for life programme and GULL.

In 1994 he had asked Samuel Tam if he could assist Boroko United Church by developing an entrepreneurship training programme and in response, Samuel developed the PV concept. PV is now Papua New Guinea’s most successful grassroots training programme. Samson became Moderator- elect of the United Church in 1996 and Moderator in 1998.

(Above) The Right Reverend Sir Samson Lowa, PV champion and GULL Elder.




Leading PV-GULL in the Solomon Islands
Dr Alison Hitu, GULL National President, Solomon Islands & Regional Vice President, Pacific Islands.

On 15 April, 2011 Alison Hitu received GULL’s professional doctorate in recognition of her personal achievements, contribution to community development and leadership of Personal Viability (PV) in the Solomon Islands and the wider Pacific Islands.

Alison’s journey is characterized by determination and a love for action and learning. The youngest child in a family of twelve with modest resources, Alison made the most of every opportunity. She excelled at school and eventually came across the PV programme. Alison honed her action learning and industry skills in Papua New Guinea where she acquired experiential knowledge in coaching people to become self-reliant and financially independent. Alison has passed on her skills to more than a 1,000 people in the Solomon Islands and she is currently leading a major new PV initiative in Papua New Guinea.

(Above) Dr Alison Hitu receives her doctorate from Dr Richard Teare, President, GULL.




Building PV for the future

Alison Hitu is currently leading a major new PV initiative in the Lihir Islands, Papua New Guinea where she is responsible for organizing the process that will enable 14,000 Lihirans to achieve self-reliance and financial independence – a monumental task by any standard. The Lihir Islanders currently receive income from gold mining, but when the mining ends in 2030 they must be ready to replace this income source with new, sustainable forms of economic activity.

(Above left) Dr Alison Hitu and members of the PV leadership in the Solomon Islands with Dr Samuel Tam (far right)

(Above) Dr Alison Hitu’s contribution to community development in the Solomon Islands is widely recognized and her personal award was featured on the front page of the national newspaper the ‘Solomon Star’ on Saturday 16 April 2011




Grassroots University of Life (GUL)
Inaugural GUL Education Board meeting, 17 April, Honiara, Solomon Islands

A partnership between Entrepreneurial Development Training Centre (EDTC) Ltd and Lihir Sustainable Development Ltd lies behind the creation of an innovative new institution, the Grassroots University of Life (GUL), founded on the principles of Personal Viability and with development pathways certified by the Global University for Lifelong Learning. These institutions also provide the enabling framework for the Papua New Guinea Government’s Vision 2050 national development plan.

Members of the GUL Education Board: (Left to right) Dr Richard Teare, President, GULL, Dr Alison Hitu, EDTC Director & GULL National President, Solomon Islands; Dr Samuel Tam MBE, CSI, OL, EDTC Founder, EDTC, Chairman, GUL Education Board and GULL Regional President, Pacific Islands; Dr Samuel Iain Tam, EDTC Director & GULL Vice President, Papua New Guinea; Dr Paul Wiau, EDTC Director & GULL National President, Papua New Guinea.




Affirming PV-GULL’s role in the Solomon Islands
A meeting with the Hon. Dick Ha’amori, Minister of Education & Human Resources Development, Government of Solomon Islands, 18 April, 2011.

As the Solomon Islands Government is actively seeking to broaden the base of economic activity, PV’s training for life programme and its emphasis on entrepreneurial development is making a valued contribution. The Minister of Education & Human Resources Development is an advocate for PV-GULL and stated his intention to expand the on-going work in his own constituency.

(Right) Dr Alison Hitu, the Hon. Dick Ha’amori, Minister of Education & Human Resources Development, Government of Solomon Islands and Dr Richard Teare, President, GULL.



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