New Beginnings in Fiji

The Islands of Fiji are seen by many as a beautiful holiday destination surrounded by pristine beaches, coral reefs, a layback atmosphere and welcoming locals. However, Fiji is also a nation experiencing many challenges. It has a youthful population with 44 per cent under the age of 25 of which a significant proportion of the young adults are unemployed and homeless.

The Salesians have been in Fiji since 1999. They have a House of Studies for students mainly from the Pacific who attend the local seminary and teachers’ college. For these Salesians the “outreach” to date has been focused on local primary schools, an orphanage and nearby villages.

Currently, the Salesians are in the process of constructing a large multi-purpose Community and Youth Centre, the first of its type. An update on the progress was given by Fr Mikaele Leilua, Parish Priest;

“The foundations for the newly established parish and multipurpose Youth and Educational Centre in Nasinu have been completed. The steel frames are soon to be erected for the walls and the roof. We are hopeful the centre will be completed well before Christmas this year.

This is such a large space that many can benefit from the centre, which is also situated next door to a shopping mall!

The multipurpose hall will draw youth off the street, offer them quality time with their friends in an environment where life skills, teamwork, games, sporting facilities and educational programs will keep them away from disruptive and unlawful behaviour. A positive environment helps to build confidence and assist in employment opportunities for a variety of pathways; volunteer work, vegetable growing projects or receive support and encouragement to pursue full or part time training.

It has been noted that when families from the country relocate into Suva, usually only one member finds work, whilst the others are left idle. Our aim is to draw these youthful members into a constructive and happy environment where they can make use of the facilities and programs on offer.”

The Centre still requires substantial funding to complete and equip. Your consideration and support would be most helpful, so that this outcome can be achieved.

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