THE priority of the Youth Desk is to provide support to implement PCC programmes on climate change, stewardship, ecumenism and self-determination among the younger church members. It works very closely with member churches to ensure interaction between young people and build strong future relations. In this way we hope that future Pacific church leaders will have deep personal links which transcend national and denominational boundaries.
MUCH of the Youth Desk work over the past two years involved building advocates among young Pacific men to fight Gender-based Violence. Young people - especially men - in churches in Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Kiribati have been encourages to stand up for the rights of women and children who, with the elderly, are often the most vulnerable in society.
IN 2016 a performance of songs and drama took place under the auspices of the PCC in the Solomon Islands. Young people who took part in the event later joined a mass choir in Fiji to perform the Rebirth Concert. This performance over three days raised awareness on the rapid onset of climate change and environmental degradation due to extractive industry. Human rights abuse in West Papua was also highlighted.
IN 2013 a delegation of Pacific youth led by PCC Animator Manasa Vatanitawake performed at the World Council of Churches General Assembly in Busan, South Korea. This allowed young people to interact with each other and form relationships with Korean youth groups. The young people returned to their home countries and implemented a number of social programmes in their churches.
A TEAM of three young leaders from Fiji will join PCC General Secretary at this year’s Quadrennial International Rural Churches Association General Assembly in Christchurch, New Zealand, in April. Two young women representing the Methodist Church and the Catholic Church in Fiji, together with Youth
Coordinator, Manasa will join other young people from across the globe to celebrate faith, culture and
tradition on the theme “GROWING TOGETHER”. This event aims to inspire, encourage and equip rural
church leaders from across the globe as they explore the challenges and opportunities facing rural
mission and ministry. With a learning community approach at its core, lay and ordained groups from
countries and regions will consider together the ‘What is?’, ‘What could be?’ and ‘What will be?’ for
their rural church context, inspired by stories and worship from different countries and traditions, and
fed by key notes on reconciling communities and collaborative ministry. Delegates will leave with action
steps for their area, a set of resources for mission and poverty reduction, new friends and a network offering ongoing support.
IN December last year a group of ecumenical young people, attended the Methodist Church in Fiji's
Biennial youth camp, hosted by the Macuata Division, in the town of Labasa in Vanua Levu. Two young
men from the Catholic Church, members of the Solevu parish in Bua and the Holy Family parish in
Labasa, two representatives from the Salvation Army (Raiwaqa and Labasa), while the rest are from the
Methodist Church, attended on behalf of PCC and FCC member churches. PCC Youth Officer – Manasa,
was tasked by the Camp Committee to lead a session, for more than 100 participants discussing Way
Forward, identifying activities that the 4 Divisions of the MYF in Fiji, can come up between this camp and
the next scheduled in 2019. Most of the response from the West, North, Central and Maritime Divisions,
centered around “Stewardship of God’s Creation – our roles as young people in taking care of the
environment”, “Planning for a Family Life”, Importance of Saving and Investing financially for the future
for individual reasons and also in your Church / Faith Community” and “Care for the Most Vulnerable –
Gender Based Violence on Women and Girls and also Caring for the Elderly”, are the main focus apart
from many other social justice issue identified. More interaction of this nature is planned in 2018 and