POVERTY alleviation will be firmly on the mind of this year's Miss Samabula Drug Store/Nabua Curry Kona Vanisi Vakatale.
The 23-year-old Vodafone Hibiscus Queen contestant said she had chosen to advocate for poverty alleviation at this year's festival because of the role it could play in causing a national crisis.
"In this year's Vodafone Hibiscus platform, I have chosen to advocate on poverty alleviation which is in chapter 6 of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and empower those who are affected by poverty," she said.
"I'm passionate about alleviating poverty.
"People need to be educated about how important we value education and recognise its short and long-term benefits towards personal and economic development."
The Ra native, whose pastime interests include gym workouts, swimming and volleyball, said she joined the festival because she wanted to make a difference.
"I believe I'm in the contest for a purpose and according to the theme to combat non-communicable disease at national level," she said.
"At the same time I want to create awareness in general of the associated risks."
She said that although the queen competition was a challenge, she was grateful for the experience.
"I believe at the end of this journey, it will better my interpersonal skills and improve my awareness of social issues."