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Youths have a lot to offer in the development of their villages and are the mainstay in our communities but the onus is on them to focus their energy and efforts towards the positive things in life.

Speaking to a group of youths at Veivatuloa Village this week, Ministry of Youth and Sports Divisional Manager Central, Iowane Soko, told the youths that the energy of youth is witnessed in a communal setting where youths carry out most of the physical work.

“You will witness first hand that your elders will turn to you during your communal work but with that energy comes the risk of youths taking the wrong path in life” Mr Soko said.

30/11/2018 - “It’s either you take the long narrow path to success or the wider path which often leads to failure. But life should not stop when you fail. There is always a second chance and many have been successful through second chances. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom and will determine your future” he told the youths.

“The Seed of Success training you have received this week highlights the available avenues within the Government machinery available to youths that can help develop you as a group and as individuals. You have heard from officials from the Ministry of Fisheries, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, the Fiji Police Force and the Maritime and Safety Authority of Fiji on how they can assist you and I encourage you to make use of the available programmes within their Ministries.”

With a membership of close to 40 youths, the Veivatuloa Youth Group is one of the pioneer groups in the Namosi province but over the years has seen very little development which many of the youth attribute to the absence of direction within their group.

Ardent youth supporter and villager, Kami Uludoviko, said that the encouragement of youths to exploit available Government assistance by the officials at the training this week was a blessing as many of the youths rarely venture out of the village and have turned to fishing as a source of income.

“While fishing is not a bad thing we must be aware of the fact that we may be over fishing and I am thankful to the Ministry of Youth and Sports for bringing in this training and opening up a whole new world for our youths and creating awareness about Government programmes,” Mr Uludoviko explains.

Accessible through a five kilometres dirt road from a turn off along the Queen’s Highway in Lobau near Navua is the village of Veivatuloa, the highland province of Namosi, and is considered unique as it is the only village in the province that is situated right by the sea with villagers earning a source of living through their fishery.

Group member Sikeli Ratuakalou, while addressing officials, said that the training has taught them to identify their responsibilities in the community and where they stand.

“As young people, we are often lost in our society and we only learn things at school and from our interaction with our peers outside of the village. It is a good thing that the Seed of Success training was held here in that it helped us refocus our group’s strategy now that we have identified our weaknesses and strengths and more importantly, where we stand in our community” Mr Ratuakalou said.

Supporting her male colleague, 18 year old Vitalina Duvuduvukula explained that the training has taught them to be responsible and active citizens.

“We have learnt a lot and the management of time and money is one aspect that impacted us all and it has given us a whole new perspective on life” said Ms Duvuduvukula.

The youths have also been told to identify an income generating project and the Ministry of Youth and Sports will consider support to set up the group’s venture.