TNYC EDUCATES AND IMPLEMENTS
The final reports for the HIV/AIDS section at the Tonga National Youth Congress have been sent to the SPC. This marks the termination of the project and although there will be no more trainings the TNYC Health division encourages peer educators in Ha’apai, ‘Eua and Tongatapu to continue the good fight. The office is still open from Monday to Friday, from 8:30am to 5:00pm for moral support and information. Peer Educators were fundamental in the Project and they have contributed so much into the campaigns on HIV/AIDS. Many of the activities that were accomplished during the project’s progression were through their innovation and hard work. Mr.Polikalepo Kefu, encourages peer educators to provide training on HIV/AIDS and spread the message so that this year the theme of ‘Exploding the Myth, let’s keep talking,’ makes a fundamental impact upon how the world wide and national campaign on HIV/AIDS. The project’s termination does not hinder nor does it stop the TNYC Health division from offering health advice and counseling to youths in Tonga.
There are still other projects in the TNYC for the development of youths in the whole of Tonga. The Future Organic Farmers of Tonga continues to raise awareness on the significance of Organic farming to the human Health and the Environment. They are offering manuals to aid farmers on the maintenance of organic farms and have also been active in the certification of Organic Farms produce especially vanilla beans for export to overseas market. These are also part of the business entrepreneurship and self-employment empowerment offered at the TNYC.
Due to the lack of resources available in Tonga, lack of employment and the lingering aspects of discrimination in work places, the TNYC empowers Organic Farming as an alternative for youths to employ themselves in growing vegetables, root crops and other farm produce for exports and to be sold in local markets. The Organic Market situated beside the TNYC Office was also reopened on the 4th of September, this year to offer a free place for all Organic Farmers to sell their produce. There were vegetables, taro and coconuts sold at the Organic Market from the TNYC garden patch and other youth groups around Tonga.
Another section at the TNYC that has also been active in promoting a Healthy Environment to aid humanity in their endeavors is the Environment division. The first phase of the Environment Project is at the termination period. The theme of this phase is ‘Youth Environment Conservation and Stewardship,’ which focused on Park Conservations in Ha’apai, Vava’u and Tongatapu. Three primary volunteer groups were recruited to take care of the Ha’ato’u Park in Ha’apai, Tukulalo Park in Vava’u and Ha’akame in Tongatapu. The project offers training and education on Environmental issues to Primary School Students through the Ha’ato’u Youth Conservation team (HYCT), the Tukulalo Youth Conservation groups (TYCG) and the Ha’akame Youth Conservationists (HYC) to Primary Schools Students.
Through this project Parents Teachers Associations and Primary school students have become active members in the Conservation of the Environment not only through the learning process but also through replanting and watching over endangered species. The stewardship program is another responsibility of the HYCT, TYCG and HYC. They have become Environmental Police Officers in their respective communities by managing waste, campaigning and replanting plants in coastal areas. These teams also map out and take stock of resources in the Environment. They document resources, check the progress of these resources and report any environmentally hazardous activities to authorities.
Nevertheless, the prospects for learning at the TNYC do not end. The Ola Fou bloc 1 continues with the goal of promoting Team Work, Respect and Responsibility. The Ola Fou is an Activity Based Learning (ABL) education that has been launched in 7 Pacific nations. Tongatapu currently has 9 students who have done 1 Community awareness and one School Awareness in the past week as part of their assessment. This ABL assessment was done in Lapaha on the 3rd of September and in Liahona High School on the 30th of the same month. The Ola Fou students were able to educate the Liahona High School Boarders which constituted of students from forms 4-7. While in Lapaha they catered to various age groups and were able to bring in over 80 participants. These 9 students include 1 youth volunteer at the TNYC and the other 8 are team leaders in their respective churches.
‘EUA YOUTH CONGRESS The ‘Eua Youth Congress has its own Conservation and Stewardship Program. This is known as the ‘Eua Environmental Up-keeping. The theme of the project is to ‘To better the welfare of the youth of the Kingdom of Tonga through programs that foster responsibility, community service and leadership.’ Through this program the replanting process, education of future generation on the respect of Nature, waste management and taking a responsible step in safeguarding the Environment continues. ‘Eua holds the largest national Park in the whole of the Kingdom of Tonga and it is significant that the Youths of ‘Eua lead the Conservation of one of the most beautiful creations of Nature.
Community Interactions Rotary Club Dinner On the 31st of August, the Tonga Rotary Club invited Mr. Polikalepo Kefu to speak at their Rotary Club Dinner. The purpose of this invitation was to find out more about the TNYC and to see in what ways they could help the youths of Tonga through a close interaction with the TNYC. According to Mr. Masao Soakai one of the founding members, the Rotary Club was first established in Tonga in 1968. It is an international group of professionals and business people for Community Service. They have donated over 8 million worth of books to Libraries around the world and were responsible for renovations and a water project at the G.P.S Kolomotu’a. This included book donations, the establishment of a library, chairs and tables, a computer and printer, an extra classroom and soccer balls for sports activities. They have also made an impact in the Ngele’ia Side School where they have made an ash field for the swampy area there so that the children’s education is not affected by the rain and contributed another library complete with books and shelves. They have contributed over 2 million books to the South Pacific alone and are now focusing on building concrete tables and chairs for the foreshores on Vuna Road. The Rotary Club dinner was a fundamental step in the existence of the TNYC because they are a Service club of professionals and business people dedicated to doing welfare work for the community.
Preparation for 350.ORG Climate Change and Rising sea levels are not just the responsibility of the Government and Non-Government Organizations. They are everyone’s responsibility and the Catholic Youths pave the way by demonstrating just how much an individual or any group for that matter can contribute to making Planet Earth and the Kingdom of Tonga better for the future generations that are and have not yet come upon this earth. Every Saturday now they have started replanting plants at coastal areas with an enthusiasm that proves to the world that youths can be as responsible as any group. Over 105 coastal plants have been planted in Nukuleka and in Kolonga they have contributed so much to waste management in terms of non-biodegradable rubbish.