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Digital Natives Fast At Work In Fiji

People below the age of 25 have been dubbed as digital natives. Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa said: “More than half the 837,000 Fijian population are
14 Dec 2016 15:45
Digital Natives  Fast At Work In Fiji
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa (left) with sign language interpreter during the Valuing Voices workshop. Photo: Ronald Kumar

People below the age of 25 have been dubbed as digital natives.

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa said: “More than half the 837,000 Fijian population are aged under 25, and one-third are below 14.

“They are what we now call ‘digital natives’ – people who can drive cell-phones and Facebook better than some of us older folk can drive cars.”

Mrs Vuniwaqa made these remarks during the Valuing Voices workshop yesterday at University of the South Pacific.

The workshop was designed to bring members of communities in Fiji together to solve problems, build relationships and get involved in ways that rebuild social capital and contribute to fully self-expressed democracy.

“Valuing Voices is an example of how an art-in-development approach can be used to achieve strong social objectives.

“And how we can ensure all voices including those of the marginalised – are heard and can contribute to shaping tomorrow.

“Other voices which are not so easily heard in the mainstream are those of marginalised groups – women, children and disabled people.

“And I use here the social model of disability, meaning those for whom mainstream processes have disabled them – whether they are blind, physically impaired, or have experienced mental illness.

“Valuing Voices is about valuing all voices in society – based on an understanding that diversity of voice leads to better governance for everyone,” she said.

Mrs Vuniwaqa noted that it will promote principles and methodologies of fair, accurate, ethical, honest, and well-researched story-telling to contribute to a climate of open dialogue and respectful discourse.

Researchers have also proved that because of lack of confidence, Fiji’s youth lack the participation in formal political processes and there’s a gap between what these young people talk about amongst themselves, she says.

“Valuing voices is one of the several projects recently commissioned in Fiji and funded by the people of Europe, aimed at contributing to the development and consolidation of democracy and the rule of law, and respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms,” she said.

Edited by Maraia Vula

Feedback:  selita.bolanavanua@fijisun.com.fj

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