FIJILEAKS has been bombarded with claims that Sodelpa Youth Council has NO youths of other races and is made up entirely of i-taukei leaders. SODELPA’s New Youth Council office bearers are as follows (see right-hand column):
President- Pita Waqavonovono
Vice President- Vani Catanasiga
Secretary- Laisani Qaqanilawa
Assistant Secretary- Setareki Loco
Treasurer- Mosese Tuva
Ratu Manoa Rayawa
Ro Kepa Walks the Talk”, says SODELPA Youth Council President
Creating opportunities for young people to engage and make meaningful contributions within SODELPA is why SODELPA’s new leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa’s youth support base continues to increase.
These were sentiments echoed by SODELPA Youth Council president, Peter Waqavonovono after Ro Teimumu Kepa’s election as party leader yesterday.
“We received the announcement of our new party leader with much joy, assurance and renewed enthusiasm particularly in light of the huge challenge ahead of us as we gear towards the upcoming September elections,” Waqavonovono said.
“Ro Teimumu Kepa has these years past been a consistent voice for freedom, calling for an end to threats and intimidation and a return to constitutional rule and representative democracy. “For young people, having a leader who ‘walks the talk’ is exemplary and this is exactly what she has been doing since 2006”.
This is why she has the respect of young people and now even more so because of her support for youth participation at all levels within the party,” he said. “And for us this is important if we are to positively impact the next generation of leaders in Fiji.”
“In her maiden speech, Ro Teimumu Kepa pledged support for the SODELPA Youth Council and our work to engage more young people. This is absolutely encouraging especially at such times where fear and oppression of our voices reign”.
“Her commitment to speak out against injustices and help us demand a fair passage for young candidates in the upcoming general elections is reassuring. When you put that together with her own personal efforts to increase youth voices in SODELPA since 2011, that message is going to impact and appeal to a lot of young people,” said Waqavonovono.
Waqavonovono said tokenism has often plagued local and national platforms for youth engagement and if leaders were to win the respect and loyalty of young people, they must take deliberate steps to ensure that young people are part and parcel of decision making structures.
“Youths are looking for role models who are grounded, community oriented, morally sound and value dignity. They will naturally gravitate towards those who not only preach this but also practice it.”
Waqavonovono said in all this, SODELPA’s new leader has been consistent. PRESS RELEASE