Permanent Secretary for Youth and Sports, Maritino Nemani opened the Western Division Youth and Sports stakeholders Workshop in Nadi today and urged participants to seek solutions that would address the varying needs of Fijian youths.

“The problems we face include teenage pregnancies, unemployment, literacy problems and so on, however one size doesn’t fit all,” he said.

“My personal view is that education of all youths starts at home. Schools are for academia but the foundation of youths starts at home. And the role of stakeholders is a critical one because you have something to offer society and our youths.” 

The Permanent Secretary noted that the Government and his Ministry could not work alone and needed the input of stakeholders, particularly as the majority of Fijians were aged below 40.  

“The Government and my ministry need your input to also inspire youths and assist with programs that will get them off the streets. Stakeholders are part of strategic agencies to build countries and the future of youths.” 

Workshop participants included officers from both the public and private sector. 

Youth coordinator, Manasa Nagatalevu said much had been deliberated upon, with a host of initiatives and issues identified by youth representatives. 

“These include how best we can rehabilitate youth who have served time in our correction centers, how we can best track youths who have yet to access our services, how we can increase the delivery of training that targets youths with special needs, ways we can improve our communication and networking with youths from all sectors of society to be included in our programs, how we can fight human trafficking, violence against women, combating mental health and the promotion of sexual and reproductive health amongst the youths, and in turn building a robust economy.” 

Youth officers were from the provinces of Ra, Ba and Nadroga.

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