It’s time to prepare our youths

Members of the Yavusa o Navakavu at the Muaivuso village hall. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

THESE were the words of Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou while speaking to youths and members of the Yavusa o Navakavu during the and Sports and Wellness Day on Friday, June 29.

Mr Tuitubou was invited to be chief guest at youths of the vanua commemorated World Ocean Day in conjunction with the national public holiday.

As part of the fourth goal of the Navakavu Revitalisation Strategy 2018-2022, it deals with the sustainable use of the yavusa land and qoliqoli.

And in commemoration of the World Ocean Day, the youth of Navakavu carried out a replanting program of mangroves and native trees high tide on the day.

Navakavu Youth representative Waisiki Mata said the tree-planting program was to prepare for the future.

“For a long time we have relied on the sea and our land, living off it but now it is time to give back to our environment, it is time to give back to mother nature. We are doing this for our future generation,” he said.

The minister, while addressing members of the yavusa, said youth were the future of the vanua and it was the duty of the elders to teach the youth and prepare them for the future.

Mr Tuitubou said the reason youths wandered off was probably because they felt they were forgotten.

“Youths need to be taught their duties and responsibilities, they need to be nurtured and prepared for the future. I remember going to a village and witnessing only the elders doing everything. Upon enquiring, they told me the youths do whatever they want to, as they please. I told them this should not be the case, it is the duty of the elders to teach them and prepare them. “In saying that, let me say I thank you to the Yavusa o Navakavu for paving the way and preparing your younger generation. What you have done is a stepping stone to protecting your resources for your future generation and for that I am proud of your initiative,” said Mr Tuitubou.

Mr Tuitubou said given we all strive to create prosperity we must also ensure the wellbeing of all nations and ecosystem.

“There is no choice to be made between prosperity and healthy climate, we have to address both. “Let me remind you that a change starts with you. We do not have the right in our own lifetimes to squander the earth’s resources; just we do not have the right to alter the ecological balance or have an adverse impact on climate change. “I wish to conclude by empowering you a special quote by John F Kennedy ‘We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch, we are going back from whence we came’.”

Through the assistance and support of the Ministry of Forests, the The Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area (FLMMA) and the Rewa Provincial Council, youths participated in the planting of seven species of native trees, coconut trees and also mangroves.

The function was held at Muaivuso Village.