PROTECTING children from abuse is an issue Mereoni Korovakaturaga believes parents and guardians should prioritise.
Being part of the Duavata Northern Crime Prevention Carnival as a princess contestant, the 13-year-old lass of Noco, Rewa, will plead j for the protection of children.
"This is a chance for me to plead with the community to work together and protect our children," she said.
"We have read and heard about reports in the media of children being victimised and abused by older members of the society.
"There have been a lot of awareness about fighting child abuse crimes but if we don't do anything, then nothing will change."
The 13-year-old student of Labasa Sangam Primary School believes her involvement will bring a difference to the community of the Northern Division.
"It is through my messages and plea to the community that I expect to see changes in the attitude of the adults towards children," Korovakaturaga said.
"I was nervous at first when the committee members approached me but then I accepted it because I thought about voicing my opinion.
"It is very important to protect children because they are our future."
The festival begins this weekend and committee chairman Satish Kumar said the carnival was organised to help spread the message of fighting crime.
"We will all come together as people of Vanua Levu to work together in preventing crime and helping one another become good citizens of our beloved nation."