Peer pressure was one of the problems identified by the youths of Cagilaba Settlement as it hindered their self-development says Jimi Mamaiko during a youth empowerment training this week.
Addressing officials during the closing of the week long exercise, Mr Mamaiko said that the Seed of Success empowerment training was the first of its kind to be held at the settlement where a majority of the population is made up of Fijians with Solomon Islands heritage.
“The formation and registration of our youth club has brought about a sense of unity and kinship. We now have youths from the two nearby villages joining our youth group and we are sure that this is a new beginning for us” Mr Mamaiko added.
“This empowerment training, while being the first, has also enlightened us for the first time Government’s focus on the development of youths” he further said. “We were able to identify our weaknesses or problems and will work towards improving our character and development as a group and as individuals.”
Cagilaba settlement with its 13 households sits along banks of the Navua River to its back and facing the road to Nakavu Village which also connects it to Navua Town.
With facilitators from the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Health and Medical Services, the empowerment training was attended by more than 20 members of the youth group. Also having a session with the youths were the ANZ Bank’s Business Development, Financial Inclusion and Microfinance Unit.
Navua businessperson and dalo exporter, Peni Moi, was also invited to address the youths and stressed the importance of time management, planning and goal setting.
“These three factors will help you in life and when managed well will ensure success” he told the youths.
Echoing Mr Moi’s recipe for success, Ms Vani Sikiti of the ANZ Bank, told the youths during the Financial Literacy session to make wise decisions.
“Decision making is a very important part of our life. You must learn to prioritise before making a decision. 80 percent of decisions we make in life are based on our emotion and the remaining 20 percent on our intellect” Ms Sikiti impressed on the youths.
“It also goes for savings and investments. A well-made investment decision will ensure your financial security and will embolden you to tackle your problems” she said. “Always see your problems as a challenge and work out ways to resolve it successfully.”
Supporting the view, Mr Iowane Soko of the Ministry of Youth and Sports encouraged the youths to keep learning and explained that the youth empowerment training is a learning process designed for youths.
“Youth Empowerment is a worldwide movement and one good example are the American Peace Corps who have been present in the country for the last 50 years in their bid to empower Fijians at various levels.” He added “Such is empowerment and the main drive behind it is to help youths take charge of their lives through motivation which includes decision making.”
“It is different from youth development which will be the doing part of this whole process and how you develop personally and will be related to the decisions you make during the empowerment progression” Mr Soko explained to the youths.
Explaining further Mr Soko said that Government’s role is to bring stakeholders together to facilitate in such workshop.
Sponsored by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Seed of Success training was well received by the youths of Cagilaba Settlement who have named their group the ‘Hurricane Youth Group’.
Commending officials and the impact of the training, group member Makarita Moce, said the group will now go through a time of self-reflection and development.
“As a group we have now realised our commitment to our own self, our communities and our dreams. It has also been a wakeup call for us as many of our members have resigned themselves to life in the settlement with no further progress in sight” she said.
“We therefore hope for the best and with these new found knowledge we are confident that we the members of the Hurricane Youth Group will be setting good examples for our peers” Ms Moce concluded.
The Ministry also donated a volleyball set and a rugby and soccer ball for the youth group.