Fijian youth group leaders in the Central Division will develop their knowledge and skills during a two-day workshop, starting today, focusing on youth engagement on issues including drug abuse, psychosocial support, mental health, domestic violence, amongst many others. 

“The workshop will lead to the setting up of peer youth leaders’ network to inculcate civic leadership skills to other youth in schools, neighbourhood and youth groups,” said Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations and Youth and Sports, Hon. Parveen Bala.

“This is a worthy initiative and the Ministry of Youth and Sports welcomes this and I know it will become an integral part of the wider youth development plans and programmes.” 

The workshop includes youth leaders from even the most remote areas of the central division and comes at an opportune time as the global pandemic has made its way to the Pacific shores.

The new knowledge and skills being shared with the youth this week will support the government on their preparedness and response activities during this global crisis. 

“We thank the Ministry of Youth and Sports for their leadership, and our partners for their joint efforts to enhance the knowledge, skills and confidence of youth leaders,” said UNICEF Pacific Representative, Sheldon Yett.

“We need to continue our collective work to provide youth with the opportunity to grow and think innovatively, and in turn, contribute to the development and success of this country.” 

With one third of Fiji’s population under the age of 35, young people in this country have immense potential to positively influence the development of the country. This workshop will provide them with a platform to deliberate on innovative solutions on taking ownership of the well-being of their communities. 

“This workshop is a great initiative to support youth leaders like me to share ideas, experiences and meet other youth leaders from the Central Division,” said youth leader Tuati Qadrodro. “I lead a youth group comprising of 25 members in Naitasiri and I am looking forward to sharing the knowledge I will learn in these two days with my group members back at home.”

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