Pacific colours at PYASC

The conference commenced on Monday 2 December and wrapped up with a project presentation from each of the participating islands where the conference themes of Health, Education/Capacity Building and Social Inclusion were the main subjects used to implement on their respective islands.
The conference brought together pacific participants who were passionate about making a change.
The opening days’ guest speakers included Wildred Lemke from UN who spoke about the importance of using sport for development while Dr. Temo Waqanivalu and Dr. Viliami Puloka from WHO spoke about non-communicable diseases and the significant factors such as alcohol, drugs and tobacco in the Pacific culture.
The 12 member Cook Islands delegation were all excited to be a part of one of the Pacific Island biggest youth gatherings.
Head of delegation, Charlene Hoff expressed how well received the Cook Islands team were and with how everything is organized so far.
“The participants were ready to engage throughout all sessions and workshops and came up with a project idea to implement here on our island,” says Hoff.
“Using the conference themes Health, Education/Capacity Building and Social Inclusion, we defined how we can use those topics to combat issues that we the youth are facing today,” she says.
Workshops were ran throughout the three days covering a wide range list of subjects that youth can become involved in to create a positive change and awareness in the Pacific.
Cook Islands Just Play was also involved in the opening day workshop as Project Manager Michelle Paiti and instructor Tuka Tisam demonstrated and presented what has been happening in the Cook Islands in regards to non-communicable diseases by using the Just Play programme as a tool.
On the final day of the conference thirteen of the countries that attended the conference had the opportunity to spend ten minutes presenting the projects they have developed and refined over the past five days.
The eight different prizes had certain criteria attached with the Prix du gouvernment de la Nouvelle-Caledonie being available only to New Caledonia projects, the SPC Award available only to Non-Communicable Diseases projects from any country, excluding Australia and New Zealand while the PYASC Award and New Caledonia Awards could go to a Sport for Development project from any country.
The two major New Caledonia prizes, in which only the host countries projects were eligible, went to the cities of Noumea and Mont Dore.
The PYASC Award went to the delegation from New Zealand who focused on the theme of social inclusion. The objective is to raise and develop empathy and awareness of physical and intellectual disability. The project will be launched in Dunedin, New Zealand.
Two UNICEF Awards were handed out, with Samoa and Solomon Islands taking the honours.
Samoa’s “Silence” project will launch a sport event in the next 12 months to raise public awareness of mental illness and build resilience.
Solomon Islands developed Youth Substance Striker – Kicking the Habit by Kicking Goals. It aims to reduce the number of people abusing drugs and alcohol which is a major problem throughout the country, but in the capital of Honiara, where the project will be piloted, especially.
The final prize of the evening, the SPC Award, was presented to Tahiti for their Health themed programme No te Ora, ‘a Ha’uti ‘Ana’e, or For our Life, Let’s Play. The programme will tackle Non-Communicable Diseases – a major issue affecting the majority of the island nation’s population in one way or another.
All of the award winners received $3,000 in prize money that will go towards further development and implementation of the projects that were presented at PYASC.
The jury was comprised of Isabelle Austin of UNICEF, Sophie Beauvais of ASOP and Viliami Puloka of the SPC, with voting assessed by Edward Bernard of the ILO.
The official closing of the Pacific Youth and Sports Conference 2013 followed the awards ceremony and was a chance for the organising committee to thank each and every one of the people who helped to make the conference a success.
“The Cook Islands delegation for the past week have transformed not only themselves into instruments of change, but have the potential to transform their communities upon return to Rarotonga and to implement their project for a better Cook Islands,” says Hoff.

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