Vodafone Hibiscus festival: Health and environment work together for Jessica

Miss Fiji Society for the Blind sponsored by Autocare, Jessica Fong. Picture: SUPPLIED

OUR health and our environment work in partnership.

This is the message that Jessica Margaret Rose Fong will be advocating next week at the 2018 Vodafone Fiji Hibiscus festival.

The 23-year-old Suva beauty with maternal links to Tonga is proudly sponsored by Fiji Society for the Blind sponsored by Autocare at this year’s pageant.

Jessica said Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are on the rise in Fiji and despite the many campaigns, Fiji still managed to be ranked number one in diabetes per capita

The Fiji National University student who is pursuing a bachelor degree in medicine and surgery said NCDs cannot be passed from one person to another like flu but it’s our lifestyle decisions that cause NCDs.

“By simple acts like planting fruits and vegetables in our farms or backyards, we choose a healthy diet, physical activity, and reducing carbon dioxide in our air,” Jessica said.

She said she knows pageants to be challenging and so she knew what she was signing up for.

“What surprised me were the lovely friends you make. The other participants you meet are genuine, supportive, and understanding. They become friends you’ll never forget,” she said.

“Entering the pageant was not something I imagined would happen for me but I enjoyed the family time it brought and the happiness of the event.

“I always admired that the pageant was focused on charity and the great platform it provides. With that being said I’m glad to be a participant in this year’s pageant,” she added.

Jessica said she entered the pageant because she saw the opportunity to represent something bigger than herself.

“There have been multiple occasions where people around me advised that I should have joined the previous pageants; unfortunately I did not take the opportunity then.

“However, when my cousin approached me with the chance to participate this year, I ceased the opportunity to grow as individual, and in turn, use my knowledge and experience to contribute back to the community,” Jessica said.

She believes pageant offers a vast reaching platform where she can show her passion.

“This platform can help relay my advocacy and at the same time show my passionate spirit,” she said.

She said her sponsor is a passionate ambassador dedicated to blind people of Fiji who in past were left behind and are now given the type of support that can help them live full and productive lives.

She believes each individual has the power to make a change.

“The Hibiscus platform promotes advocacy, however, individuals have the power to learn from the advocacy and to take initiative to change for the better.”

She says she has a very supportive family and friends and is grateful for the kindness and support shown towards her on this journey she has chosen.

“I blessed with great family and friend support and the empowerment from initiatives of the Fiji Society for the Blind. These factors and God have not only helped me tackle my fear but build my character as well,” she said.

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