NUKU'ALOFA, 14 August 2020: “Youth is important through these programs introduced by TYEE.” expressed by Tina Ta’ai, 22 years old, from Matahau, was the highlight of this TYEE GO GREEN! SWAP Event.
The GO GREEN! staff, volunteers and participants who were all youth, filled the Taufa’ahau Village Backpackers on Friday, 14th August 2020. GO GREEN! continued to develop the SWAP initiative by encouraging the youth to lead and deliver the program on the day. In that way, they are constantly reminded of their value and importance to our community and to our environment and that they have a responsibility to promote a cleaner, greener future not only for themselves but for the Tonga.
TYEE GO GREEN! appreciate that we are promoting more than just green environment by recycling, reusing and reducing of clothing wastes; we are also establishing various platforms to not only create employment opportunities for the youth; which it had allowed us to recruit two more of our GO GREEN! Volunteers, and we will continue to do this as we move forward with the right support. This is also an opportunity for us to create an environment where the youth can come out of their comfort zones and learn from one another as they develop team spirit and the spirit of togetherness especially in these difficult times with COVID-19 regardless of their background and status. We continuously remind the youth that no one survives alone, and supporting one another is the way to go.
We ended the day with a 30 minute debate on the topic “Oku totonu nai ke tataki ‘e he toutupu ae ngaahi polokalama ki he feliuliuaki ‘o e ‘ea ‘i Tonga?” “Should the youth lead or be more involved in Climate Change related initiatives in Tonga?”
Some of the highlights from this debate was, Soane Fonua, 19 years age, from Tokomololo stated,
“Many a times we say, the youth causes a lot of trouble in the community, in town, and I agree, but that’s not all of us, some of us a hard workers, like me, I love to create things with my hands and I know today that earning a living is not only from my education but I can earn a living from my God-given talents.”
Loleini Kafoika of Lapaha, 23 yrs old, stated,
“This Swap was organised by youth, planned by youth, delivered by youth, if they can do it, why can’t we!”
As the debate continued, we recognized the desperation, determination to voice their ideas, hardworking, and the inspired youth before us are willing to make a difference. Which is why, the support from local business-people such as Amelia Vallabh of the Taufa’ahau Village Backpackers goes a long way to enabling the GO GREEN! Initiative to reach out to the vulnerable and the majority of the youth unemployment community and empower them to step up and be inspired.
We welcome any form of support towards the initiative as the best way forward in the midst of this crisis is to work together.
GO GREEN! our home, our future, our responsibility.