Tongatapu 5 Youth Council event, Fale Lalava Hall, Kolovai. 15 August 2020

matangitonga (Nuku'alofa, Tonga) International Youth Day was remembered at the launching of a Hihifo Youth Council for Tongatapu 5 constituency on August 15 at Kolovai. The program included sports events for youths from the 16 villages in Hihifo.

The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Lord Fakafanua in a keynote address commended the formation of the council which he named 'Kakala Papai Fatu'.

He said the aim of Tonga’s Strategic Development Framework 2015-2025 is for a more progressive Tonga supporting a higher quality of life for all and investing in young people as the future.

There are nearly 2000 youths aged from 14-35 years in the district. He hoped this youth engagement for community action would provide a platform for youth development.

Losaline Ma’asi, MP for Tongatapu 5, welcomed this council to build the capacity of the community. It was developed through the Hihifo Development Council.

The Natonal Program Coordinator for Integrated Water and Coastal Management Project, Silia Leger who has projects in this community, said the group provided a model for other districts to follow, engaging the youth with community development and hearing their voices.

The program was an initiative from the Tonga IW R2R Pilot Project within the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, together with the Tongatapu 5 Council and People's Representative, and funded by Ministry of Internal Affairs. 

The sports events were planned and managed by a team from Tupou Tertiary Institute's Sports and Health Science Course. 

International Youth Day is marked annually on August 12.

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