Fiji National University (FNU), in collaboration with Integrity Fiji, celebrated International Youth Day. International Youth Day serves as a global observance aimed at highlighting the importance of young people and their role in various societal aspects.
As a prominent educational institution, FNU took the opportunity to recognise and empower the youth of Fiji through its collaboration with Integrity Fiji.
Integrity Fiji Volunteer and FNU student, Lati Shalom, said that young people are generally the ones severely affected by corruption. However, she further said the generation can turn the tide and make meaningful and positive changes.
“The Global Corruption Barometer Survey of the Pacific reported that 61% of respondents believe corruption is a significant problem. Corruption in climate funding or the misuse of national public funds affects the achievement of the Pacific people’s Sustainable Development Goals,” she said.
“Positively, 71% of Pacific respondents agreed that ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption. This opinion is particularly widespread among respondents from Fiji, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu, where more than 80 percent shared the view that people are part of the solution to corruption.”
“I would like to acknowledge the tremendous support the Fiji National University rendered in working with Integrity Fiji to develop an anti-corruption course with 10 Degree-level credit points.”
The International Youth Day theme for 2023 is Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World of Integrity.
Chief Guest and FNU’s College of Humanities and Education Associate Dean TVET, Jerry Wong, spoke on the topic of Towards a Culture of Integrity in the Academic Setting. He said the shift towards an environmentally sustainable and climate-friendly world is critical for responding to the global climate crisis and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
“A successful transition towards a greener Fiji and Pacific will also depend on the development of green skills in the population. I am pleased to report that through the FNU’s TVET and academic programmes, we are inculcating the knowledge, abilities, values, and attitudes needed to live in, develop, and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society,” Wong said.
“These include technical knowledge and skills that enable the effective use of green technologies and processes in occupational settings, as well as holistic skills that draw on a range of knowledge, values, and attitudes to facilitate environmentally sustainable decisions in work and life.”
There were also panel discussions based on how corruption was affecting the fight against climate change and how to empower youth to join the fight against corruption.
College of Engineering, Science, and Technology student, Lucy Tifere, called on the youths to fight against corruption.
“It is important to raise awareness and educate others about the corruption present in our society and country. The youths play an important role in the fight against corruption, and it was a perfect day to challenge the youths to fight against corruption,” she said.
College of Humanities and Education student, Radhisha Nath, presented on the topic of how youths can contribute towards climate change.
“Climate Change is the present reality we must address, and youth play a pivotal role in addressing climate change issues. The youth can spread information about the causes and consequences of climate change. Use social media, organise awareness campaigns, and engage in discussions to educate others about the urgent need for action.”