Suva, Fiji: Today, the U.S. Embassy welcomed nine Pacific youth, representing Fiji, Tonga, and Kiribati, into the 2022-2024 U.S. Embassy Youth Council (EYC).
U.S. Ambassador to Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga, and Ambassador Designee to Tuvalu and Nauru Marie C. Damour launched the new cohort, welcoming members and impressing upon them the impact that they would have on the U.S. Embassy’s youth engagement.
“You are our link to the rising generation of Pacific youth. This is your seat at the table to help us shape initiatives and programs that reflect your priorities and concerns. Together, we’ll build a future of prosperity, peace, and opportunity for the region’s youth.”
Ambassador Damour also commended the inaugural 2020-2022 EYC cohort, who persevered against the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The inaugural council, despite the lockdowns and travel restrictions, found meaningful ways to improve the lives of Pacific Island youth, most notably through virtual talanoa sessions, which reached more than 20,000 youth and gave them the social support necessary to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.”
Since 2020, the EYC has provided insight and advice to the U.S. Embassy into the issues and challenges affecting Pacific youth. The EYC also develops youth-centric programs and projects focused on such priority issues as diversity and inclusion, mental wellness, and economic recovery.
Ambassador Damour also thanked representatives from USP, Rainbow Pride Foundation, and the Tasty Kitchen Collective for continuing to partner with the EYC on their endeavors.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Jese Saukuru also attended the ceremony. At the end of the event, he met EYC members and learned more about their goals and plans.