Address at Valelevu National Youth Training Centre Graduation on 13 December 2018

Invited guests
Representatives of the Ministry’s stakeholders,
Government officials,
Ladies and Gentlemen.

Bula vinaka, Namaste, Salaam Aleikum and Good Afternoon to you all.

It is an honour to be here this afternoon to be part of our National Youth Training Centre graduation ceremony.

This event is particularly special as it my first engagement as the Minister for Youth and Sports together with my Assistant Minister the Honourable Alvick Maharaj and Permanent Secretary Mr Jone Maritino Nemani.

Exciting times are ahead of us as we work as a team to empower and develop the youths of this wonderful nation and bring about new ideas to compliment the current programmes of the Ministry.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Government is focused on the future. We have a vision for the sake of our children which has been the key ingredient in Fiji’s economic success and this has been witnessed and recognised by all during our term in Government. We are working not for ourselves, but for our children and our grandchildren who are our future.

An example of this is what we are here for today.

I would like to congratulate those that are graduating today. Thank You for your determination and the will to succeed.

I would also like to acknowledge the parents. Parents are among the most important people in the lives of young people. You have started the development process which we have continued with here at Valelevu Youth Training Centre.

Your dedication and commitment have truly paid off and I hope that all of you will continue to support this wonderful program for many years to come.

I take also this moment to commend the work the respective instructors in nurturing the graduates for the last two years and assisting the ministry in achieving its intended vision which is “Building values that lead to success.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, through our Non-Formal Education training, we are committed in providing equal opportunities to youths who may have dropped out of the formal educational stream and looking at pathways for a sustainable future.

My Ministry and Government, is all about empowerment opportunities. Your training is about empowerment in the music and performing arts area.

The Ministry has 5 training centres through the nation’s four divisions. The training centres provide various modes of Non-Formal Education trainings to up skill our youths and provide them with that second chance that many of us need.

This Youth Training Centre here in Valelevu, or the National Youth Band Program, has been one of the stand out programs of the Ministry.

The aim of the program is to provide theoretical and practical training in music so that they can better their chances of finding employment in the music industry.

The training centre is renowned for the National Youth Band and has produced number of youths who have excelled in the field of music.

But we don’t only teach music here Ladies and Gentlemen. There are other components that compliment the main areas of study in the programme which are:
• Musical Theories;
• Practical Musical applications;

• Physical Education and Sports;

• Culture and Customs;

• Cultural entertainment

You need only look at the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Band, the Fiji Police Force Band, in the Fiji Corrections Services, Secondary Schools, in the British army and in hotels and other tourist destinations around the country to find graduates from this training centre excelling in their field as musicians, teachers, entertainers and trainers.

This in itself is the true testament to the commitment made by the Ministry to propel the youths in Fiji forward. The main focus of the Ministry has always been to provide Fijian youths with fair and equal employment and training opportunities.

Graduates, as you enter the next exciting phase of your lives today, please remember that this is just the beginning of the future that you see for yourselves. You all will need to reflect on the lessons you have learned, the perseverance and sacrifices required in order to achieve your full aspirations.

Your graduation today does not mean that your training ends here though. There is still more to learn and I encourage you to keep learning and explore ways you can further enhance you skills and abilities.

We have provided a platform for you to explore and succeed.
Each future option comes with its own attraction and challenges. Do not get discouraged, if you fail initially, keep trying. Failure comes with a lesson that should be used to help us grow and develop.

Remember: “The highest reward for man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it”. You are the master of your future. What you do and how you do it will determine what you will become.

We know that every young person has a potential to fulfil. “Live your dream.”

And we know that when we are recognized for our qualities, we can create a strong society - together.
We all want to be successful, but remember that success comes with commitment sacrifice and dedication.

You all are the future of our nation; you must also try to fulfil your social responsibilities and aspire to be good role models.

Today, we need people who are successful and respectable.

Thank you once again for your achievement and we hope this will set a precedent for other young people. Please spread the word as we are open for business for both young men and young women.

With those words I wish you all the best in your future endeavors and may you all have a ‘Blessed Christmas’ and a Happy New Year.

Vinaka, Dhanyabad, Shokran and Thank you all.