One Hundred Fijian youth advocate for intergenerational solidarity in climate action
Suva, Fiji, 10 August 2022 – In the lead up to International Youth Day on Friday, 12 August, one hundred Fijian youth from the central, western, northern and eastern divisions share their experiences and renewed commitment advocating for intergenerational solidarity in the fight against climate change.
“I find this platform significantly helpful because my village has been suffering from the effects of climate change for the past few years now,” said Adi Ana Tibinaliva Raloga, from the Nakama Youth Club. “My village is surrounded by a river so during heavy rainfalls, we experience flooding and through this workshop, I hope to learn some ways that I can work collectively with my village to mitigate the effects.”
A series of three one-day workshops, began in Nadi yesterday, Labasa today and Suva on Thursday and Friday, to advance youth-led community initiatives. The workshops provide a platform for them to come together,share information and lessons on their club activities; as well as discuss on how they can better contribute towards overall efforts of the communities
These workshops also provide the opportunity for youth clubs to strengthen climate action and disaster risk reduction work in their communities, further implementing commitments from the 2021 National Youth Climate Action Summit, including the establishment of divisional climate action advisory working groups.
The youth participants also took part in the imaGen Ventures Youth Challenge, which is a global initiative with young people to design and deliver youth-led solutions that are gender transformative as well as inclusive and non-discriminatory in nature.
“Human life based as it is on the cycles of life from birth to childhood to adulthood and old age, also brings with it generational based attitudes and ways of seeing things,” said the Fijian Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon. Parveen Kumar Bala, while officiating at the International Youth Day celebrations in Labasa today. “This is how human society has evolved globally - yet there are important local elements to how we see and define intergenerational relations, and how we can then approach solidarity among generations.”
Young people in Fiji have immense potential to positively influence the development of the country. These workshops will provide an opportunity to create awareness and dialogue on working across all generations to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and leaving no one behind.
Solidarity across generations is key for sustainable development. As we navigate the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is especially important to recognize and address these age-related barriers to ‘build back better’ in a manner that leverages all generations’ strengths and knowledge.
The new knowledge and ideas being shared amongst the youth through an interactive bootcamp will also renew commitment towards youth-led community action to combat climate change. It will enable youth to better communicate and network on this issue with government ministries and development partners.
“Almost one-third of Fijians are youth in this country, and they have the power to reach out to the most marginalized to drive change – starting within their own homes,” said UNICEF Pacific Representative, Jonathan Veitch. “UNICEF is honoured to be partnering with the Ministry of Youth and Sports in providing a platform dedicated to amplifying the voices of youth especially as the climate crisis is one of the five opportunities UNICEF globally has prioritized for children and young people to take action on.”
This three-day youth workshop is organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and UNICEF. On Friday, 12 August, the Ministry and UNICEF will be joining UNFPA and UNAIDS to celebrate International Youth Day filled with activities including music, talanoa session, mobile clinics, workshop on public speaking and a fashion show at the Suva Civic Centre.
Notes to Editors:
About the Fijian Ministry of Youth and Sports:
The overall role of the Ministry of Youth and Sports is to facilitate and ensure the full development of young people's potential through the provision of strategic supportive networks and initiatives for character development, entrepreneurial activities, sports and community based civic initiatives. The Ministry formulates and implements policies on youth development as well as promotes and facilitates sports development within the framework of existing national policies and priorities. To ensure young people are groomed and prepared positively to meet the challenges of their generation, the delivery of life skills programme, empowerment and capacity building programme, specific skills programs such as agriculture, carpentry, multi skills and music training continue to be the focus areas of the Ministry.
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