TYMC supporting young people in Tonga
Young people in Tonga need opportunities and support to display their talents in local, regional and international platforms.
TYEE believes that what youth have - IDEAS! However, there must be a match between their ideas and access to innovations. Young people need a platform that allows them to express their talents for the global market out there. A platform where policies that allow young people to demonstrate their talents and a safe and supportive environment that tells them all the time that they can do it, that there is this market. A pipeline they can use to access that market.
Once the government sets policies that allow you to take an idea, channel it through some territory and through that territory that idea hits this huge market, it’s done. The revenue flows back to the young person somewhere in Tonga.
Young people need not come to the CBD, West and East to demonstrate their talents. And that’s exciting, because we get to keep our young people on the island and in their communities. But we need to give them the tools to export what they have and earn the foreign exchange that they can reinvest in Tonga, their communities and their respective countries. That is our challenge. So we are creating an entrepreneurship platform that connects them to the rest of the world.
The platform is to advocate for policies that promote young entrepreneurs and support them in finding markets - local, regional and international. That's what this TYMC platform is about.
What skill sets are TYMC targeting?
We are designing a platform for young people who are IT minded. There are thousands such young people in Tonga and we want them to access the rest of the world. Once we can bring them onto this platform, connect them with the global market, from there they can achieve anything.
TYMC platform is not just looking for talents in IT. You can teach them other skills. Once you have a platform, one of the things we found out about the young people is that they are multi-talented. A lot of them are carrying phones through which they can make money, and some will do other things. But let’s first of all create the environment that helps their ideas to fertilise.
Where do with the policy makers?
A conversation with Lusia Latu-Jones, TYEE President. "That’s where God has blessed us. At the end of the day, I’ve been doing business in Tonga and abroad for over 15 years, and during that time I have met a lot of people. Now, if we can be where we are today and we don’t have the ability to influence, to speak, or to help governments make policies, then I think we would have failed a whole generation. So our responsibility is to be a bridge between the government and the young people, and have them talk to each other".
"We understand the language the young people are speaking. They want a platform that allows them to access the rest of the world. We have access to the world and we have access to the government. So we support them".
Lack of opportunities and support for young people lead them to all sorts of social trouble
"I think there is a saying that the devil finds work for idle hands. You must keep your young people engaged. If you have a huge population of young people and you do not challenge them, you’re asking for big trouble. So it is imperative that we give them ways to legitimately develop their talents, whether it’s through music, movies, agriculture, tourism, IT, whatever it is that they find, give them a way to express it".