WHILE it may be challenging for youths to have their voices heard in parliament and on the political front, one young lady hopes to raise awareness on the impact of climate change on people's lives at this year's Hibiscus Festival.
Queens category contestant Peniana Dimaiwea Wainiu said the festival was a platform for young people to raise their opinions and perceptions about critical issues affecting their growth and development.
Sponsored by Cal Valley Solar, the 24-year-old enjoys baking, cooking, reading and travelling and is the eldest of four children from Drekeniwai in Cakaudrove.
"It was by the influence of people around me, my peers, workmates, schoolmates, people who knew me personally who got me into this pageant," she said.
"It was also because of the fact that the festival, being the mother of all festivals, will be a very good platform to advocate on sensitive issues, which are plaguing the world today and how it has impacted directly and indirectly on Fiji — one of which is climate change."
When asked whether she had what it took to be this year's Hibiscus queen, she confidently said, "I will make a good ambassador especially when it comes to advocating on critical issues.
"I want to set the mark and become a role model for young girls, to encourage them to keep pursuing what they aspire to achieve in life," she said.