Careers

Empowering Youths By Giving Them A Voice

"He made the remarks during the official opening of the 2019 National Youth Conference at the University of the South Pacific on Tuesday."
28 Mar 2019 10:00
Empowering Youths By Giving Them A Voice
Youths turned up in numbers to participate in the three-day National Youth and Sports Conference 2019 at the University of the South Pacific on March 27, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

We are committed to the development of young Fijians and by listening to young people, we will be able to progress changes in policies, says Minister for Youth and Sports Parveen Bala.

He made the remarks during the official opening of the 2019 National Youth Conference at the University of the South Pacific on Tuesday.

The theme for this year is Em­powering Youths to be Agents of Change and Promoting Sports for Development.

More than 400 youths from across the country converged to discuss issues such as Human Rights, Climate Change and En­trepreneurship during the three- day conference, which concludes today.

Mr Bala said it was important for him to hear from the youth themselves about the problems that they faced and he devoted the last two days in engaging with the youths.

“There is so much that the youths want the Government to do and there is so much that the Government wants to do for them, but there is a gap and that needs to be filled,” Mr Bala said.

“So this forum gives us an idea and indication of what their problems are.

“After this conference we will draw up a plan and see how we can then reach out to these youths.”

Mr Bala also mentioned that the development of a National Youth Policy was high on the Govern­ment’s agenda.

“Proper studies and planning for the policy begins right here with the input from youths in this conference,” Mr Bala said.

He has also called on leaders from all walks of life to listen to the voices of young people.

“Invest in young people and involve them meaningfully in all decision-making that affects their lives,” he said.

The conference involved panel discussions on topics including Disability, Sexual and Reproduc­tive Health, Financial Literacy, Sustainable Cities, Gender, De­velopment through Sports, Dis­aster Risk Management and Jus­tice and Law among others.

The programme for today in­cludes mangrove planting and a clean-up campaign along the Suva seawall followed by sports competitions and a din­ner and concert in the evening.

Edited by Susana Tuilau

Feedback: neelam.prasad@fijisun.com.fj

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