1. PRESIDENT ENCOURAGES STUDENTS TO USE THEIR ‘USP’ – The University of the South Pacific provides students the ‘unique selling point’ through a world class education, says His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.
2. VUNISEA STUDENTS URGED TO WORK DILIGENTLY – Students of Vunisea Secondary School have been encouraged to work hard, be committed to whatever they do, practice honesty at all times and be willing to serve in order to succeed in their future endeavors.
3. FIJI YOUTH URGED TO JOIN CELEBRATIONS – Youth around the country are urged to participate in the National Youth Day celebrations that will take place in all the four divisions this month.
4. ITAUKEI AFFAIRS CONDUCT COMMUNITY WORK IN NADAVE – The Ministry of I-Taukei Affairs recently carried out community cleaning work in Nadave as part of the Ministry’s commitment towards working with various local communities.
5. VIOLENCE FREE CAMPAIGN GIVING WOMEN MORE VOICE – The role of women in decision making at community levels especially in rural and isolated communities is now being realised through the Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign.
1 PRESIDENT ENCOURAGES STUDENTS TO USE THEIR ‘USP’
The University of the South Pacific provides students the ‘unique selling point’ through a world class education, says His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.
As chief guest at the Open Day at USP, which played host to hundreds of students from various schools, the head of state said it was now a fact that the more education a person has, the more opportunities for the person with the global economy now becoming knowledge based.
“Today is a chance to reflect on your unique selling points, your USP, or what makes you special, and to consider those areas in which you excel or have the greatest potential,” Ratu Epeli said while cleverly using the university’s acronym to make his point.
He told students that while choosing a programme of study it may not seem like an easy decision but all students bring a wealth of life experiences to university.
“All students have strong interests, natural inclinations and abilities, interests that may not immediately appear relevant to the world of work. That is your interests or qualities that make you special. The university you choose needs to help you develop your interests into a career,” he said.
Students from as far as Kadavu flocked the Laucala campus and visited various booths set up to help students make up their mind on their career paths.
A few schools from the islands such as Ovalau and Kadavu braved the sea journey to ensure the students are also exposed to the opportunities available to them.
Levuka’s Delana Methodist High School Form 7 student, Apete Naicori, who originally hails from Rewa, said he was interested in the science display as he wants to become a veterinarian.
“I am working hard at school so that I can join USP when I complete school. I want to become a veterinarian because I like animals especially horses,” he said.
Twins Vasemaca and Taraivini Kolikata, who interestingly study at different schools, have a passion for science as well and could be seen avidly taking in the mind boggling set up at the Chemistry display booth.
Vasemaca, who is a student of Gospel High, wants to become an aircraft engineer and her twin, who studies at Laucala Bay Secondary, wants to be a nurse but both are well aware that many challenges lay ahead.
“It’s really helpful to have an open day so that we understand where we are headed. I am happy that I will be raising the bar for girls by entering a profession where females are not that many,” Vasemaca said.
The open day is an annual event is the USP calendar.
2 VUNISEA STUDENTS URGED TO WORK DILIGENTLY
Students of Vunisea Secondary School have been encouraged to work hard, be committed to whatever they do; practice honesty at all times and be willing to serve in order to succeed in their future endeavors.
The Minister for Defence, National Security and Immigration, Joketani Cokanasiga stressed these fundamental values to the students during their cadet pass out parade in Kadavu this afternoon.
Mr Cokanasiga congratulated the students for the display of military drill through teamwork, coordination and precision.
He said that Fijians are living in exciting times now as the government has a vision for all to be able to succeed, prosper and live fulfilling lives.
“We are about to have a new Constitution which will enable us to participate in the first ever free and fair election in 2014. At your age, this period of your life becomes even more challenging as you think about what lies ahead of you,” Mr Cokanasiga said.
“I believe that if you work hard, be committed to whatever you do, remain honest, be graceful to others and always be willing to serve; you will succeed in whatever profession, career or field you pursue.”
The minister urged the cadets to continue working hard in order to achieve their goals and become responsible Fijians.
“In today’s society, we seem to have a mentality where we want to have everything handed to us. It is important for us to realize that we cannot succeed unless we are ready to work hard for what we want.
The minister also urged the cadets to have an attitude of service to ensure that they work to the best of their abilities in every situation.
3 FIJI YOUTH URGED TO JOIN CELEBRATIONS
Youth around the country are urged to participate in the National Youth Day celebrations that will take place in all the four divisions this month.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports through all their divisions have been preparing separate programs for the celebration which carries the same theme, ‘YOUTH – ENERGY OF THE NATION.’
The Ministry’s permanent secretary Mr Joseva Sania explained that the Ministry has an allocation for the National Youth Day occasion and makes sure that celebration is carried out.
“With the current preparation, I am sure that each division will put up a thrilling and motivating programme that will attract many youth to participate,” said Mr Sania.
He highlighted that this year, the Ministry of Youth and Sports will be presenting various awards in the four divisions. The four major awards include: Young Farmer of the Year, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Youth Worker of the Year and Youth Club of the Year.
Major centres of celebration include Syria Park- Nausori [13 August] and Thompson Park- Navua [14 August] for the Central Division. Eastern and Northern Division on 16 August at Levuka and Taveuni respectively. Western Division at Churchill Park, Lautoka on 23rd August.
4 ITAUKEI AFFAIRS CONDUCT COMMUNITY WORK IN NADAVE
The Ministry of I-Taukei Affairs recently carried out community cleaning work in Nadave as part of the Ministry’s commitment towards working with various local communities.
Led by the Ministry’s permanent secretary Mr Savenaca Kaunisela and the Deputy Chief Executive Officer for iTaukei Affairs Board (TAB) Colonel Apakuki Kurusiga, more than 40 iTaukei staff took part in the clean up at the Centre for Appropriate Technology & Development (CATD) in Nadave.
“This clean up is part of the Public Service’s requirement under Service Excellence,” Mr Kaunisela explained. The Ministry, he said, had planned the community work at the CATD for some time, but the weather had been the major determining factor.
The community work included clearing farm land, cleaning and airing the accommodation buildings.
The Ministry’s Service Excellence Committee is planning another community work before the year ends.
Last year, the Ministry conducted its community work at the Nabitu District School in Tokatoka, where the staff and their families cleaned the school compound, planted flowers, cleaned the classrooms, donated stationeries, and provided some of their core services including iVola ni Kawa Bula registration; and scholarship awareness for guardians, parents, children, and teachers.
5 VIOLENCE FREE CAMPAIGN GIVING WOMEN MORE VOICE
The role of women in decision making at community levels especially in rural and isolated communities is now being realised through the Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign.
This week the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni officially declared Vanuakula in Tavua as a “violence free community”.
In her address to the community, Minister Dr Luveni said that through the campaign there has been increased awareness and information sharing that has actually steered a change in the mindset of the male counterparts to respect and value women.
“The Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign cultivates a collaborative approach between the communities and relevant stakeholders to eliminate violence against women and children. The campaign is strongly supported by male leaders who are part of the gatekeeping committee that works with closely with the Police to monitor the progress of this campaign. The prime message it resonates is that true development cannot be achieved without empowering the women as they are the key agents of change in their communities,” Dr Luveni reiterated.
Mrs Tarusila Uqeuqe, the president of Vanuakula Women’s Group revealed that unlike before, women are now aware of the laws that safeguard their rights to live violence free lives.
“We have been informed about the No Drop Policy through one of the awareness programs provided by the Police. If women are mistreated by their husbands then the cases have to be reported to the police and there is a Domestic Violence Decree which provides protection to the victims of domestic violence.
“Unlike before where families used to hide such matters, women now have the freedom to make informed decisions and take action to stop violence. Awareness has also focused on positive parenting skills and roles, responsibilities of mothers in raising their children,” she said.
Mr Solomone Faga, turaga-ni-koro for Vanuakula said a gatekeeping committee comprising of village elders, police and relevant stakeholders has been formed to oversee the success of this campaign.
“The gatekeepers committee is vigilant and ensures that peace and harmony is nurtured among the families, we have regular talks on these topics in our church meetings. There are frequent visits by the police and people are now aware that violence is not acceptable in any situation. They know that be it any forms of emotional, physical abuse is a serious crime and anyone found committing such an act will be dealt by the Police.
“We would like to thank the government in particular the Minister for Women for heading this initiative that is giving more respect and recognition to women in their communities. The awareness programs have initiated change in the mindsets of the men in Vanuakula. For example they are now taking pride in helping the women with their weekly cleaning up activities, organizing social events and also doing household chores like cooking and cleaning,” Mr Faga said.
The 3 other villages in Tavua that have joined the Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign are Tavualevu, Nadelei and Vatutavui. A total of 63 communities in Fiji have joined this campaign since its establishment in 2009.