For over 25 year Tonga National Youth Congress (TNYC) is still playing the leading role in youth development program for Tonga and have work diligently in training as well as raising awareness and advocating on behalf of the youth of Tonga since then.
On April 5th TNYC Alcohol Awareness Team went to Tupou College Toloa (TCT) to do an awareness program on alcohol and tobacco, it was facilitated by Savelio Lavelua (TNYC Board Member, Life skill master Trainer and now ‘Apifo’ou School Counseling Officer)
“We got an invitation from the two counselor of TCT Tevita Eukaliti and Dorothy Bryce” said Savelio Lavelua “these counselors identified from working with students that there is a raising concern toward students increasing consumption of alcohol as well as tobacco and drugs”
According to the identified issued from the counselor, 60% of the college is smoking tobacco or have been introduce to drugs. Drugs Alcohol & Substance Abuse is the sixth issues on youth top ten issue for Tonga.
“We had a great program at Toloa” said Mausa Halahala “students show up to the program with anticipation to learn about something new about alcohol, tobacco and drugs and how it’s affect their mental health, physical health and the impact in their life as well as their families and friends.
When the night ended, students had expanded their knowledge on how these substances can affect their life and their education. They left with the message of making the right choice now and not used drugs will give them a much healthier life as well as a better future.
The awareness to Toloa college have also make other High School to also stand up and relook at their students in relation to alcohol, tobacco and substance used. The work will continue to other schools that has already contact TNYC for this awareness program.
Since the establishment of Tonga National Youth Congress in 1991, TNYC has been working endlessly for the greater good of the youth.
Throughout 2006-2008 TNYC coordinated youth parliament, youth summit, life-skills camp, survival skills camp, governance & camp girls leading our world (GLOW) and ulu’akaua camp or environment camp. This year TNYC has started to go back and used that methodology of gathering youth starting with the camp GLOW in Ha’apai and this coming November with Youth Green camp.
“Environmental issues is a global issue that all of humanity is concern about” said D.R.R and Environment coordinator, Mausa Halahala “Environmental issues are harmful effects of human activity on the biophysical environment. Environmental protection is a practice of protecting the natural environment on individual, organizational or governmental levels, for the benefit of both the environment and humans.”
The camp is set to advocate, educate and activate youth to be closer to Mother Nature and take a very active stewardship roles to the environment starting from their communities. This green camp is funded by the Canada Fund.
“The camp will run for one week from the 3rd of November to the 8th” said Mausa Halahala “by the end of the camp we are hoping to equip these youths with skill on how to conduct an or environmental Impact Assessment. So when they go back to their community they can assess surrounding and know how much work they have to put in to help their local community environment.”
On September 23 the International Climate Change Day MEIDEC commemorate this by distributing tree for youth group communities to plant
On September 20 they where at Sopu ‘o Taufa’ahau distributing trees for the community and TNYC chairmen board was there welcome them and to help distribute the trees that they have came with to the youth of Sopu.
“When I was a boy the Vuna Rd was one of the beautiful places of Kolomotua” said Drew Havea “the beaches and the trees here in our coast were green beautiful and just breath taking. But Now all we see are rocks and no trees for windbreaker. That is one thing I like of having all of you here cause your are the future generation of Sopu and you are the one who will bring beauty back to our shores”
The program end with the youth of Sopu planning of the trees starting from the Ahi moe Vunga VCO and from there to their places.
“We are happy the we have a chance to help mother earth be green again” said one of the participant “not only that we have these trees to take home and plant them but this will help me know more of how to care for these trees”
“I think the key value here is that making sure our Sopu is green again and that we will take the next step and educate ourselves and pass on that
knowledge to other” Drew Havea.
TNYC RESULT Project have work to develop export market for virgin coconut oil. The project is in it’s third year span throughout this period the TNYC learning curves have increase a lot not only in business development, but also in marketing development locally and internationally. To this extend the business arm have down size it’s production site last year so its can accommodate those learning in the export market contract and developing of the local market. Now in 2017 production is back on track but this time its just not coconut oil only but have also diversify products for the local market with producing coconut milk. TNYC RESULT have also add vanilla this year as their second organic commodities for the business arm.
“Yes we had a set back when production stop but that just made us see things more clearly” said Production Controller, Filohivalu “the great things of our set back we came to see that coconut milk is a production that is needed in the Tongan community and yes we are delivering coconut milk to stores for all to buy”.
The remerging of the production come in a great time when TNYC is just about to go in to the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification.
On September 1st TNYC warehouse was inspected for the first time by the HACCP officer and while all was well there are still work to do before THYC have a thump up from HACCP Inspection.
“We still have our work to do before we get out HACCP certification and we are willing to take it on cause it will be worthfit” said production controller