Persons with disabilities national forum launched
The 2021 National Youth Forum for persons with disabilities convened on Thursday with discussions revolving around the theme "my life, my decisions, my future".
The National Youth Forum for persons with disabilities was held at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel and was attended by the caretaker Minister for Women, Community and Social Development Tuitama Dr. Talalelei Tuitama, Nuanua o le Alofa President Milovale Lama as well as members of the N.O.L.A youth.
The objectives of the forum were to increase opportunities for the social inclusion of persons with disabilities and provide a platform for youth with disabilities to share their successes and identify their needs.
The N.O.L.A youth president and board member for the Pacific Youth Committee for persons with disabilities, Tusiga Taofiga said the forum focuses on youth where they will discuss various issues in education, health and equal opportunities in looking for jobs.
He emphasised that people from various businesses and Government Ministries are also taking part in the forum.
Mr. Taofiga added that the importance of the forum is to share knowledge on job opportunities and establishing a small business.
He had then mentioned that some of the youth with disabilities that are attending the forum have started their own businesses through the work of N.O.L.A.
According to Mr. Taofiga N.O.L.A was founded in 2001 and after a Pacific Disability Forum meeting in 2011 in Fiji, it was raised that there should be a youth area of focus.
And in 2012 the N.O.L.A Youth was established, who said that the reason is that the youth are the future of the organisation and they needed to raise some of the issues that they are facing.
There were only 15 members of the N.O.L.A when it was founded and now that number of members in 2021 has reached 244.
The National Youth Forum for persons with disabilities will last for two days where they will discuss various topics and those who have established a business will also be given an opportunity to speak on various topics.
The Government ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2016 with Mr. Taofiga acknowledging the Government for the work that they have done.