The Council for World Mission in the Pacific Region kickstarted its Youth Initiative on 3rd October 2022, in Coral Coast, Fiji. The week-long youth initiative aims to create a safe space for the young people to share their stories and challenges and in turn be challenged, empowered and motivated as they learn from each other.

The theme of the Initiative was “Rise to Life Youth: Post-Pandemic Response”, and the youth are expected to participate in worship and bible study, sharing of culture and faith. They will also look at issues affecting young people and the region socially, spiritually, economically, and environmentally.

A youth representative from Nauru, Melba Menke said that she is expecting to learn a lot, having read about the event objectives in the concept note. “I want to learn from others, and see what we can come up with to help our communities back home. I am excited to meet the other youth participants”, she said.

Another youth participant Myrielyn Komolo, from the United Church of the Solomon Islands (UCSI) said that she is expecting to learn more about Gender equality. “In SI we do not practice gender equality. In our culture men are always in charge of everything. But it shouldn’t be like that. Men and women should have equal rights. I also want to learn ways that we can learn to eliminate social issues. I want to know root causes of domestic violence and help prevent it, and also to learn more about climate change. In my community in SI there are so many domestic violence as well as rape cases. It is something that comes up in the news every two weeks. I really want to learn and see what we can do for change”.

Some of the activities that the youth will participate in include post pandemic reflections, child protection sessions, field trip to a home for single mothers, youth empowerment and deep sea mining learning sessions, coral planting, loss and damage, relocation and nuclear learning sessions, ecological stewardship presentations.

Youth participants in the programme are from CWM Pacific member churches, Congregational Christian Church in American Samoa (CCCAS), Congregational Union of New Zealand (CUNZ), Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu (EKT), Kiribati Uniting Church (KUC), Etaretia Porotetani Maohi (EPM), Nauru Congregational Church (NCC), United Church of Papua New Guinea (UCPNG), and the United Church in the Solomon Islands (UCSI).

Dated 4 October 2022