My name is ‘Alamoni Grace Nafe. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, double majoring in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Auckland earlier in May this year. I’m currently working for the Tongan Government, in the Public Service Commission Office, as the assistant secretary for the Performance Management System division (Human Resources sector). I started this job last month, and it has been a whirlwind learning experience.
After high school, I was given an open-category scholarship. I graduated and still had a hard time looking for a job. Often, we think with such naive optimism that as long as we study hard, we would be guaranteed a great job with the snap of a finger. The truth was a lot bitterer than what I had expected.
Growing up, seeing older cousins drop out from school, and then subsequently struggling to make ends meet as they build families made me realize that it was not something I wanted. I also have a lot of my younger cousins who dropped out of school because they said they couldn’t be bothered to do their assignments anymore, that they wanted to hang out with their friends and fakatamaiki, and they just gave up. It broke my heart, it still breaks my heart.
I thought that education would change everything. After graduating from University and experiencing a long stint of unemployment, it made me wonder what the use in the end was. It was a depressing time for me, and made me feel like my dreams and ambitions were futile.
The sense of uselessness after studying hard and not achieving anything was not something I wanted my younger siblings and cousins to see. Of course, it was an eye-opening reality of the harsh problems in the real world.
I lost count of how many applications I sent out for various positions after returning to Tonga. Ironically, at the PSC office where I now work, my supervisors told me they had seen my applications for the other positions in the various ministries I had applied for. I wasn’t selected for any because “I didn’t have the relative work experience”.
I remember feeling frustrated, how can we gain experience if no one wants to employ us?!
During my interview, my (soon-to-be) boss, had asked me “What is your greatest strength?” Without missing a beat, I told them “My youthfulness. Being young, that means I have a lot of excess energy and enthusiasm. I’m also very willing to learn, and I’m a quick learner.” One of the other questions they had asked me was “What would you like in a future boss?” I told them that I wanted to work with someone who was willing to teach me the ropes, and to bring out the potential in me.
It was a long and nerve-wrecking wait for me to finally land this job. But that wait taught me to appreciate this job so much more, and remembering all the months I wasted doing nothing motivated me to work harder and to learn as much as possible.
In the end, I feel really lucky that I’m able to work in a central government agency. I’m lucky that the office I’m working in are full of older, experienced staff, who are helpful and friendly. I’m lucky that I have a very nice boss/mentors that I’m able to work with. I’m learning so many new things, from the paperwork dealing with various cases and how to interact with co-workers, and officers from various ministries.
I’m lucky, and I remember that there are many others out there who have as much potential and talent as I do, but haven’t been given the opportunity to use and showcase their abilities, knowledge and skillset. Remembering that humbles me, and acts as a constant reminder to work hard, and to keep being a positive role model to others, and to try and do something that would be useful to others.
I really believe that tackling youth unemployment would help to address other social issues such as youth violence, youth crimes, and teenaged pregnancies.
The next big question is “How?”
-by 'Alamoni Grace Nafe-
The TYEE Fashion Show is all about Youth Employment & Unemployment. Highlighting Employment Opportunities for the Youth and raising awareness about Youth Unemployment.
The models have been grouped according to different industries. They will be strutting the runway representing their industry & business of interest.
We had the chance to catch up with JAYCEE from the IT group and he was decked out in his tupenu & ta'ovala and a nice long sleeve green shirt.
"What's up Jaycee? Looking really formal there bro."
*Jaycee smiling* "I just got back from a job interview."
"Yeah? How did it go?"
"You sound confident."
"Yes I am actually. We did some training here at TYEE and that really helped me with the interview."
"That's great. So what made you sign up for the Fashion Show?"
"I want to help other youths realise that it does work!"
"That they can come here and get support to find a job."
"Many of the youths I know want jobs but they are just too shy to come forward and get help."
"Yes it's really hard for the youth but if they see that I can do it then hopefully that'll help them overcome their shyness."
"Jaycee you the man!"
We took a few pics of Jaycee to post but he said not to worry about it. He will send some to use. Next day we get a pic of Jaycee with the famous Ipanema beach in Rio in the back and his name lined across on top of the mountain. Wow! The man can model, cares about the youth, and got some computer skills as well!
Come and see Jaycee lay it down on the runway for the youth, with the youth & everything youth on 25th Nov 2016.
TONGA YOUTH REAL TALK
They broke down crying when they weren't able to get a bank loan to send me overseas for further studies.
I still want to continue my studies because my parents taught me to never give up.
There's so much I want to do for my parents as well.
I want to work so they won't have to work anymore. I want to get them a home as we don't have one of our own.
I want my parents to smile and be proud of me again.
TONGA YOUTH REAL TALK
My disability makes it difficult for me to walk. Both my legs ache a lot when I go out walking for a long time.
But I've never let it hold me back or make me sad.
I don't worry about what other people say. They are not going to look after me.
My mother is my biggest supporter. She is only able to work three days a week and the truth is, what she makes isn't enough to support our family.
My parents divorced so I live only with my mother and younger sister .
Some days my mother and younger sister would go hungry but mother would always make sure that I had food.
It's hard when I see that happen. It makes me want to get up and be able to do more for my family.
I sometimes wonder why? Why does my mother look after me so well? Why do I get treated better?
My mother would tell me that she believes I'll be the one who would be able to lift up our family.
Me, the daughter with a disability.
Thank you for believing in me, I want to make you proud.
tired of living at home with no money
I wanted to be a nurse but my qualification was not enough to meet the requirement of nursing. My father passed away in 2009. I stayed home and wanted to help my mother, and my other siblings, and did not know how to get a job. I dropped out of college at Form 7 and had no work experience at all. I came across TYEE and I decided to contact them if they can help me.
[Hi.. I'm really interested in your Facebook page on how you helped youth to find a job. I always wanted a job but couldn't have the courage to do so. I dropped out from school at F/7 and I hope you'll help me on how to find a job.] Thanks
I got an interview with TYEE not long after my registration. I also participated in their Work Readiness training program. I was honoured to be part of it and was very happy. I was so excited as I was on my way to landing my first job. After our training, I was called for a couple of job interviews with TYEE RECRUITMENT for housekeeping and shop assistant positions, but I decided to wait for a better job. After a few weeks, I was tired of staying home with no luck with jobs, no money and I wanted to get out and work to help my family and also for me to be financially independent. When TYEE contacted me again last week for another job interview, I made up my mind that I will take this job and let that be my first new job. I had to start somewhere especially after considering my qualification was not that good and a lot of youth with better education are looking for jobs.
Hi!! just stopping by to say hi and thank you for putting me into a job. I'm still learning a lot of things but I'll love it thanks to you and your team for the help.
I am thankful for this opportunity and wish to encourage my fellow youth jobseekers out there to take the first leap and start exploring the working life. As Mohammed Ali said it, "I hate every minute of Training but I said, don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion".
start today from the ground up, it will pay off
'Oku hounga lahi foki ki he ‘eku mo’ui ‘a e ki’i taimi si’isi’i ne tau fengaue’aki ai mo feohi ai mo kimoutolu pea ko ha mata’i koloa mahu’inga ia ki he ‘eku mo’ui. Pea ko ha talanoa melie foki ia ki hoku ki’i famili pea pehe ki he ‘eku fa’e ko ia 'oku kei moui, kau ai mo hoku ongo tuofefine mo hoku fakatokoua. ‘Oku ou tui fakapapau foki koe faiva ola moe melie e faingamalie ‘oku ou ma’u koe fou kotoa pe ia mei ho’o ki’i organisation hena ‘a e TYEE. And I‘m very proud of TYEE MANAGEMENT AND STAFF WITH THEIR GOAL AND PLANNING. ~Sione Fatafehi Hausia
Sione Fatafehi Hausia came to register with TYEE in his effort to find work. Hausia had keen interests in Hospitality & Tourism and Training. When an entry level job opening became available for our youth, we would get a 8/10 not interested. When Hausia is contacted about it, we would always get a big fat yes from him. "I'll take the job".
The job opportunities on offer ranged from a Kitchen Assistant, Reception, Housekeeping, Waiter, Cleaner, Customer Service and Driver. The last opportunity we presented to Hausia, it was an Internship position with the Ministry of Tourism Tonga for almost 4 weeks during the Heilala Week 2016. Hausia (together with his fellow interns) was highly commended by the Ministry's Officer in Charge; Simata Palu for his commitment and all round effort in everything he was asked to do.
Hausia has paid the price to learn variety of skills, gained some experience and he never gave up. He stumbled and fell but he kept going when the challenges became so impossible to handle.
Today, Hausia has been offered a new office, new job and new location. The opportunities are out there, but the question is: are you prepared and ready to face the challenge to achieve and make yourself proud?
Ko e ngaue ko eni kou ma’u koe Officer in Charge for the Ministry of Tourism ‘Eua Office, as Assistant Information Officer for ‘Eua Tourism. Pea kou hounga’ia lahi aupito he ngaue ni thanks be to God and I give him the glory. ~Sione Fatafehi Hausia
‘Oku mahu’inga lahi kiate au hoo ngaue Lusia he koia ‘oku ma’u ai homau faingamalie to get a job and now I understand we have to start from the grass root job step by step ke ma’u ha tu’unga ngaue ‘oku toe sai ange and finally I got there. ~Sione Fatafehi Hausia
"I am somebody when I came. I will be a better somebody when I leave". ~TONGA YOUTH REAL TALK
The TYEE Work Readiness Training Program for September 2016 Intake is in progress. With Day One done and with a maximum of 20 Trainees per intake, we have a house full of youth coming together to make a difference in their search for some economic opportunities to better their lives, just like all of us. With the support of the Tonga Business Enterprise Centre & NZAid Programme, we are able to serve the numbers of our young people in this way. We thank you!
"My Dad died while I was still in school. So I dropped out of school to find work to support my family. My younger sister, who had been helping me, passed away last month. I look after her son now like he is my very own. So much sacrifices but it has made me stronger." NIPA 25
Never give up hope
"My mother died while in the hospital. I was told that there were not enough staff. I applied to Nursing School every year since I was 16 until I got in. Now I'm helping others in need." Mone 24
Adapt and overcome
"I lost my father in the Tungi Arcade shooting that happened more than 20 years ago. I was just 1 year old at that time. Mom raised me as a single parent and encouraged me to study hard. I did really well at school but, I think because I didn't have a father figure to guide me, I strayed and did some really stupid things."
"Skipped classes and didn't sit exams."...
"What happened then?"
"They were ready to expel me from school but by the mercy of God I was given a second chance. Mom encouraged me to seek the Lord's help and that's how I was able to turn my life around. I was able to refocus on my studies and graduate from high school. What inspires me the most is my Mom had this single dream - to build a house for us because we didn't have one. She was able to do that, on her own. So one of the sayings I live by is 'Adapt & Overcome'. My two years of missionary service helped built my faith and I am confident now that anything is possible through Christ." #tongayouthtalk