Fiji Youth Council Allocates $45,000 For Development Projects

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UNDP grant will go to sustainable, income-generating projects

By Salaseini Moceiwai

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Jan. 28, 2013) – The National Youth Council of Fiji has allocated a total of FJ$80,000 [US$45,062] to assist members with development projects in their areas.

At a meeting in Labasa on Friday the council's newly-elected president, Maciu Ratu said the funds were part of the US$150,000 (F$264,000) grant given by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The council comprises youths from the Youth Assemblies of the Fiji Islands (YAFI) and the Provincial Youth Forum of the Fiji Islands (PYFI).

Mr. Ratu said the council was willing to fund projects for youths, provided it was sustainable and income-generating.

He said projects should conform to the guidelines set by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and UNDP.

"We are here to assist the youths even though we are still in the final stages of establishing this council as an organization that represents the voice of young people in the country," Mr. Ratu said. "The funds donated by UNDP will assist us for a period of three years and was given to us last year, and we are very thankful to them for their kind gesture. At the moment, we are visiting youth reps in all divisions to get their opinions on how best to operate the council."

Mr. Ratu said with the assistance from government and relevant stakeholders, they hoped to run a strong and independent organization that would represent all youths in the lead up to the 2014 elections.

"We are also trying to elect new office bearers from around the region who will manage the council. We want an established organization that has one voice for the youths and we are very passionate about this move."

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