Tuesday, 27 January 2015

TI Fiji Youth Group, VoSOTA, Launched

“Tonight has inspired me to understand and learn more about corruption” those were the words of Jeremy Fong, one of the young leaders that were invited to the launch of VoSOTA last night
VoSOTA is the youth group that has been set up by the Youth Integrity Promotion (YIP) programme, a programme under Transparency International Fiji.
Earlier this year, the YIP conducted a survey to gauge the level of understanding young people had of corruption and integrity.
“The survey was carried out to gather perceptions and attitudes young people had about corruption and to gauge where integrity was placed on their value system, if at all. Although the official survey results are yet to be released, we felt that maybe, if we had a youth group that was more focused on anti-corruption issues, we could get more young people pushing for principles of accountability and transparency that should be made foundations upon which any form of progress here in Fiji is made,” said Fenton Lutunatabua Programme Coordinator of the YIP
VoSOTA is the acronym for Voices Speaking Out for Transparency and Accountability. Coincidentally the word “Vosota” also sums up a feeling most young people in Fiji have at one point in their lives experienced.
“In Fijian it loosely translates to perseverance and endurance and to keep on keeping on, a characteristic we hope more young people would stay true to. Especially these young people who have signed up to further the anti corruption movement here in Fiji and really begin creating a more analytical generation that pushes Fiji towards a more corruption free future” said Lutunatabua
The event was attended by several young leaders in Fiji who have been, in one way or another, selflessly contributing to creating the type of future they so rightfully deserve, be it with their involvement in environmental work, human rights, and gender issues or simply by leading lives filled with integrity, they came and were excited to be part of this new direction TI Fiji was taking.
“It would be good to have a focus on accountability, helping people understand their own accountability. Youth have a lot to offer in getting this message out there, and from what I’ve seen tonight it’s pretty exciting stuff,” said Apisalome Waqanisau Youth leader who attended the launch.
In attendance as well were TI Fiji Chairman Apisalome Tudreu and Asia Pacific Regional Coordinator from the Transparency International Secretariat in Berlin, Glen Raynor, amongst other staff and Board Members.
Amongst the many other plans VoSOTA has lined up, they hope to raise awareness and bridge that gap of disconnect, many young people have with issues pertaining to corruption. One strategy they will focus on using the Arts as a tool for education, empowerment and positive change.

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