Jimmy Lume a graduate of the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) enjoys working with communities in Lenatuan village on Tanna Island located at the southern end of the Vanuatu archipelago, to help improve their lives and raise standards of living.
Jimmy has played a significant role in several development projects for his community. He has helped establish sustainable energy systems like the water sanitation project to ensure the availability of clean water and the affordable solar power system units for rural people. He has also been raising awareness across these communities, on climate change and gender issues. Jimmy was instrumental in setting up the Lume Rural Training Centre that teaches technical and vocational skills to youths of his village.
The training centre has been selected as one of the three finalists for the prestigious 2015 Zayed Future Energy Prize in the Global High Schools Oceania category for the development of sustainable energy systems that power the community. This award was inspired by the vision and environmental stewardship of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to empower, recognise and award global innovators for their achievements in renewable energy and sustainability.
Last year, Jimmy completed a Certificate IV in Community Development from APTC. APTC is a development initiative funded by the Australian Government to deliver training in order to increase the supply of skilled workers in targeted sectors in the Pacific region. APTC has campuses in Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
Jimmy says he choose to study at APTC because he wanted to get a recognised qualification.
The Community Development program has helped him gain broader knowledge in the areas of mobilising communities, unity and diversity, managing conflicts and risks, writing budget submissions and has enhanced his leadership qualities and communication skills.
“It was important for me to get the right training to help me grow further in my career. APTC has helped me get formal qualification in an area that I am passionate about,” he said.
The focus of APTC’s Community Development program is to develop the knowledge and skills to work effectively with individuals, groups and communities. This includes delivery of a broad range of programs which contribute to the development of capacity through public and social change processes.
APTC Trainer in Community Services, Annie Dares says the program allows students to apply their learning through live projects. This helps students gain greater levels of competence and confidence.
“Graduates like Jimmy bring a high level of motivation to learn, and to return to their communities to make a difference,” said Annie.
Jimmy explains that the idea to establish the Lume Rural Training Centre was to provide useful skills to youth without formal education, in turn allowing them to find meaningful employment opportunities.
The centre teaches basic carpentry, joinery, automotive, community education (home economics), basic tourism and hospitality training, business skills, agriculture and climate change education.
The feeling of being selected as a finalist amongst so many applicants is hard to express, says Jimmy. “It is like a dream,” he added.
The winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony that will be held on 19 January in Abu Dhabi.