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Will and Kate to learn about poverty in the Pacific during Royal tour

  • Royal couple to speak with Solomon Islands youth advocate, business owners
  • Chance for United Kingdom’s famous leaders to get a glimpse of island life, solutions to poverty

Media contact:

Lauren Fisher

SOLOMON ISLANDS (September 13, 2012) — The Royal couple William and Kate will broaden their understanding about aid and development in the Pacific when they meet community members in the Solomon Islands who are working their way out of poverty with the help of World Vision.

The meeting will take place on 17 September and is one stop on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s tour of Asia and the South Pacific. The couple are representing Queen Elizabeth II and celebrating her 60 years on the throne.

“We are honored to host such an influential pair of young leaders. Our goal is that they’ll walk away with an understanding about how we are empowering communities to overcome poverty in the Solomon Islands,” said World Vision’s Solomon Islands Country Program Director Andrew Catford.

During their two day stay, the Royal couple will meet with World Vision staff, youth leader Ellison Maitaifiri and young business owners Louise and Cain Whitney.

Ellison, Louise and Cain live in Burns Creek, a community that faces many challenges including high unemployment, limited educational opportunities and high instances of drug, alcohol and physical abuse.

World Vision has been working with the community for the past 18 months to change attitudes towards substance abuse and violence, and to create opportunities for youth through education and training.

Cain and Louise will share with William and Kate about how they are turning their lives around. Cain left school early and turned to drugs and alcohol and was unable to meet his family’s needs. After receiving training from World Vision, he started a small piggery business and now feels more confident because he can support his family.

His wife Louise attended training as well and now runs her own grocery store. Louise says they now have "peace in the home" and a bright future for their children.

The Duchess of Cambridge will also attend a morning tea where she will meet Koisau Sade, World Vision’s Gender Coordinator. Koisau will speak with Kate about the issue of domestic violence in the Solomon Islands and how they are training church leaders to help change men’s attitudes towards women.

The South Asia and Pacific region is home to a billion people who live on less than $2 a day. Levels of chronic child hunger and malnutrition are among the highest in the world.

World Vision is one of the largest and most experienced non-government agencies in the Solomon Islands. The organization has been working there for more than three decades, with a special focus on children and empowering communities to shape their own development in areas like health, education and economic development.

For more information on photos or interviews with staff on the ground, please contact South Asia and Pacific Communications Director Kristy Allen-Shirley at +65 82228696.

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About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world's poor — regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews

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