By Afia Enosa
Suva, Fiji Islands, 13 August 2022 -- “Dream, believe, achieve” were the words that were chanted by the young people from Raiwaqa (Jittu squatter settlement), Vatuwaqa (Wailea squatter settlement), and Nanuku and our Saint John Bosco youth members. The majority of the youth from these three areas (Raiwaqa, Vatuwaqa, and Nanuku) are non-Catholics. The program was organized by our parish Youth council members, Father Tuia Afoa, and Master Tevita Naikasowalu, a former teacher and now a coordinator of Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creations (JPIC) under the leadership of the Columbans.
More than fifty young people were able to participate in this great celebration and the main speaker was Master Tevita Naikasowalu and some other members of the JPIC group. Group sharing and personal reflections were given by individuals, adding their flavours to the program, they even performed items to present their wants and their eagerness for changes in their lives.
Saint John Bosco dreams a lot, that is what other young people shared during our discussions. They followed their dreams and try and bring them into reality. The struggle is real they said, but nothing is impossible to God if we continue to work hard and pray. Short talks followed by an ice breaker fun activity before lunch, followed by sports played inside our own Don Bosco Youth and Education Centre.
This program was organized to celebrate International Youth Day. Master Tevita spoke about the connection between the JPIC and the work of Saint John Bosco for the young people and the reason why he did want this group of young people from Raiwaqa, Vatuwaqa, and Nanuku to join us. “When I first met them, the kind of life they lived, I saw they were desperate for success, and for me, coming from a parish where people (Salesians) prioritized young people, I thought to myself I need to do something immediately. And so, this is the start. Let the Spirit of God work in this great gathering, who knows some of them will join or work with the Salesians”.
It was a full-day program and was enjoyed by all the young people who participated in the celebration of International Youth Day.