Oxfam Vanuatu’s Program officer, Mini Mului, loves her job.
But 10 years ago, such a position seemed like a distant dream. Like many Ni-Vanuatu young women, she had always enjoyed school, but had to leave when she fell pregnant. She spent the next three years caring for her daughter and thinking she’d never have a chance to continue her love of learning.
To support her family, she got a job as a cleaning lady at Youth Challenge Vanuatu (YCV), which partners with Oxfam to train and support young Ni-Vanuatu people. She watched with interest those whose lives were being transformed before her. “I became more curious about the programs and wanted to participate in the training myself.”
In 2010, Mini’s dream became a reality when she became a participant in the Future Leaders Program (FLP).
She received training about life skills, leadership, gender-based violence, personal budgeting, job seeking, computer skills and first aid. She also participated in a community project, where, with volunteers from Vanuatu, Australia and Canada, they implemented their training to work together with community leaders and youth on Tongoa Island to build a new primary school classroom.
It was the beginning of an amazing journey for Mini.
She started working as a community projects intern with YCV, and then became a Field Team Leader coordinating Ni-Vanuatu and international volunteers in their respective community projects, from building a new library for a French primary school to constructing an aid point. In 2015, she joined Oxfam in Vanuatu as a Program Officer and is relishing the learning opportunities about good governance, leadership, resilience, climate change, food security and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
Working and earning an income meant that Mini could fulfil one of her dreams: she went back to school.
I do have the courage, confidence and skills to go back to study and find a job. I’m so proud of myself
“If I had not seen that job advertisement to be a cleaner at YCV, I think I would have had to go back to the island with my baby. YCV provided me and so many other youth, with the environment and strength to believe in ourselves again. And to say: yes, I do have the courage, confidence and skills to go back to study and find a job. I’m so proud of myself. I am so happy at work, and I am so happy at home because I provide school fees for my daughter and provide income for my parents too.”
Read more about Mini, and nineteen other remarkable stories of young people whose lives have been changed by Youth Challenge Vanuatu in their Stories of Change Report.
About Youth Challenge Vanuatu (YCV)
Oxfam partners with YCV, a local NGO working in youth leadership and livelihoods since 2001. YCV gives Ni-Vanuatu women and men opportunities to increase their skills and livelihoods through engaging in community development programs, training and internships, business mentoring and access to career support.