Cook’s youth ready for PYASC

This year, the delegation will be lead by Charlene Hoff, a youth officer for the Ministry Of Internal Affairs and her activities included work with the Youth Suicide Prevention Group – launching the help line number and raising awareness of mental illness.
Hoff says the Cook Islands delegation for PYASC numbers 12 and brings together a range of diverse youth from her country that differs ethnically, religiously and socially.
But sports, she says, is paving the way for what promises to be an exciting conference in Noumea, New Caledonia from December 2 to 7, 2013. Sport always plays a big role in bringing people together in the Pacific Islands.
“No matter where you are, youth find a way to get out and play sport, whether they have the equipment or not, they are resourceful and energetic,” she says.
Cook Islands attended the 1st PYASC with a delegation of 54 youth and were great ambassadors for Cook Islands. The delegation was lead by Sandra Taringa who was the Youth Officer at the time and she and her working committee worked very hard to plan fundraisers to enable the team to get to Auckland.
The members of the delegation worked very hard to prepare and carry out their fundraisers to ensure their attendance to the 2nd PYASC – fundraisers included: movie premier nights, pancake breakfasts, quick raffles etc.
“Raising funds is always a challenge and our young people have to be innovative in how they go about this, says Hoff”
“We have been very fortunate to have also been supported with some much needed financial assistance from the Cook Islands Government, New Caledonia Government, Oceania Sports University Association and Rotaract towards the airfares of our delegation and we are extremely grateful for that assistance – Thank You Hon. Henry Puna and the Cook Islands Government, Rotaract, New Caledonia Government and Ray Preston of OUSA.”
“PYASC is a very important learning opportunity for all youth and we are happy with the participants that are part of our team.”
The Pacific Youth and Sports Conference (PYASC) aims to address significant social issues facing young Pacific Islanders. It is a tool for youth to develop and pursue social projects in their communities.”
The New Caledonia Government, Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Oceania Football Confederation joined forces to host the Pacific Youth and Sports Conference in Noumea later this year.
The aim is to gather around 1,000 young people from sport and youth organisations, governments and international institutions from the Pacific region to exchange experiences, encourage debate and discuss potential new ideas.
Cook Islands is facing health issues, particularly NCDs which concerns the Ministry of Health with it’s partners, trying to raise awareness to reduce these incidences.
Teenage pregnancy and Youth Health & Wellbeing are also another issue that youth are facing in the country.

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