From Rosie Catherine Kamoe in Suva

Jacob Itautoka and I have been talking about how we can get Rotuman youths involved with activities such as the Pacific Youth Festival. There are a number of us involved with NGOs, and I guess ideally we would really like to go to Rotuma and transfer our skills and knowledge to the community and support development on the island.

Recently there were invitations for the Ship for World Peace; however, only two Rotuman youths applied. One of the things we need to do is to keep ourselves in the loop in regards to opportunities, development, education, etc.

The next Pacific Youth festival will be held in Fiji, 2009. Jacob and I are on the organising committee, and will keep you updated on upcoming activities.

The Rotumans who participated in the 2006 Pacific Youth Festival in Tahiti are:

David Hesaie
Good Governance (Foundations of the Peoples of the South Pacific)

Evonne Inia
Continuing & Community Education (USP)

Jacob Itautoka
Laje representative (sustainable development) using Laje Rotuma as an initiative and an example. He also shared Laje experiences to the Lifou Islanders of New Caledonia who are just commencing on a similar project.
Currently studying for a Bachelor of Science at USP

Tokai Devatine
photographer – Pacific Youth Festival Newsletter
Currently studying anthropology (PHD) in Tahiti.
Tokai's great grandparent is Rotuman. Some of his closest relatives would be George Kostatino and Afasio Fonorito.
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TeRito Peyroux
National Facilitator of Tauiwi Youth Ministry in the Methodist Church of New Zealand (NZ)
TeRito's grandmother is Mrs Susau Strickland, who is the sister of the late Mr Mamao Konousi. TeRito is of Rotuman, Cook Island, Tahitian, French and Scottish decent and was born and raised in New Zealand.

One of my personal highlights was performing to a minute of the Helava Pasifika because I had never danced to a Rotuman song; neither had I worn a tofua. The gist of the Helava Pasifika was significant because the lyrics spoke of the Pacific and how invaluable it is, inviting Pacific Islanders (our relatives) to work together and maintain our identity, culture, land and way of life.

Mereoni Chung accompanied us in dancing as there were only Jacob and I in the Fiji Delegation.

Upon returning from Tahiti, Jacob and I, along with other youth participants, went to Keiyasi, Navosa Province, (interior Sigatoka) for the opening of National Youth Week. We shared our experiences from Tahiti. Jacob gave a presentation on sustainable development (LajeRotuma Initiative) and our own life experiences as young people, especially in the areas of good choices and decision making. Keiyasi is known for its marijuana farming.

The Pacific Youth Charter was developed by 1000 delegates from all over the Pacific who attended the July 17-22 festival in Papeete, French Polynesia. Download the draft document (pdf format, 73kb) in order to give us your feed-back. All the comments must be sent by e-mail to before Friday, 29 September 2006. All comments received will be forwarded to the organising committee so that the Charter can be finalized.

Henry Rigamoto is an independent events organiser & facilitator and is involved with the Young Adults Working for Change. He was previously a programme assistant with Ecumenical Centre for Research Education & Advocacy. His telephone contact number in Suva is (679) 9202317

Photos from Pacific Youth Festival