MOSESE Mamafainoa has pledged to be the voice of people living with disabilities in the upcoming Vodafone Festival of the Friendly North.
And he is forever grateful to the festival committee for recognising his physical condition and allowing him to participate in the charitable event.
Mr Mamafainoa, 18, a Year 11 student of Vunimoli Islamia College in Labasa lost his left arm in an accident when he was in primary school.
"I think this is the only festival in the country that has allowed the participation of people like me and I am really honoured to be part of it.
"I know that this event will give me the opportunity to expose my talents and skills.
"Apart from aiming to increase awareness about the impacts of rising sea level, I also want be an advocator of recognising the potentials of people living with disabilities.
"I want to inform every Fijian that disabilities are no barrier. It's the ability to exercise your potentials and skills to live a normal life that counts."
Representing Shah Amusement, Mr Mamafainoa said the much-awaited week-long festival for him was not about winning the crown but imparting a positive message about disabilities and rising sea level.
"I thank the festival committee and my sponsor for this opportunity and I will do my best to make them proud."
Festival committee chairman Vincent Sahayam said apart from raising funds for charity, the event was a platform to foster a sense of inclusiveness.
"Irrespective of the physical condition, colour, race or belief, we believe that everyone has a chance to participate in the festival if they have the potential and skills," he said.
"It's all about togetherness and recognising every individual as a normal citizen of this country."
Meanwhile, the festival, which is scheduled to start on August 23, was launched on Friday with more than 200 people attending.