As part of the project “Youth access to rights through implementing the SDGs”, from July 11th until July 17th 2022 in Fiji was held the youth exchange “Youth and SDGs” focused on improving young people’s access to rights through the sustainable development goals (SDG) implementation plans. On the youth exchange there were participants from Center for Intercultural Dialogue (CID) – North Macedonia, Young European Federalists (JEF Europe) – Belgium, JOINT STOCK COMPANY NARXOZ UNIVERSITY – Kazakhstan, as well as representatives from the National Youth Council of the Fiji Islands – Fiji.
The participants of the youth exchange had the opportunity to visit some crucial Fijian institutions such as the Parliament of Fiji and the Pacific Theological college. Together with the representatives of those institutions, the participants had the opportunity to get more insights about the youth participation and youth organization in Fiji, how Fiji is politically organized, how the SDGs are implemented and incorporated within the state institutional programs.
Additionally, there was a visit of the Yavulo village in Fiji where the participants had the chance to meet with the local community and got knowledge about their tradition, culture and the authentic practices they have within the village and the Fijian community. The participants also joined the locals in the performance of their popular local dance. Similarly, the participants were given some typical accessories to wear that are common for the Fijian attire.
Within the theoretical part of the exchange the participants were discussing the SDGs in their national and local contexts, as well as their experiences with implementation of some of them within their organizations. The participants have also worked in mixed groups and have created online content on specific SDGs by adding the relevant information for the participating countries respectively. This content will be soon shared on the social media of Center for intercultural dialogue.
Talking about her experience, Tamara Petkovska, one of the participants from North Macedonia says “For me, as a young person participating in this youth exchange, I can say that Fiji was a completely new experience. I have learned a lot of new things for the Fijian culture and traditions as well as the cultures of the participants from the other countries.
The field visits were very interesting and informative and I am glad that we had the opportunity to learn all these new things by having the direct communication and interaction with the locals.
Regarding the theoretical part, I enhanced my knowledge about the SDGs issues in Fiji, Belgium and Kazakhstan, with a specific focus on the SDG 7 (Affordable and clean energy) that I was working on with my group.”