Slim Pickings

In the miserable shanty 'burbs of honiara, there are no jobs for school leavers. Even those few who have pursued higher learning are stuck. The new mainstay of the economy, the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, is not recruiting people whose paltry work skills consist of helping out in the family garden or running a betel-nut stall. Boredom and mischief await those who come to the capital from distant provinces. Social workers and police describe growing alienation and crime. On the main island of Guadalcanal, there's the allied scourge of substance abuse, involving a potent moonshine known as kwaso. With...

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