GCC chair: Step up

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Chairman of the Great Council of Chiefs Ratu Viliame Seruvakula. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

The traditional structure in the village needs to step up, says Great Council of Chiefs chairman Ratu Viliame Seruvakula on the increasing number of iTaukei youths involved in criminal activities.

Ratu Viliame said there was a need to review the traditional structure in villages under the leadership of chiefs because he believed it was the best mechanism for resolving issues in the vanua setting.

Ratu Viliame said awareness programs should be implemented for traditional leaders so that they were aware of current issues faced by their people and how to combat them.

He said youths with no proper moral compass to guide them, because of a lack of proper parenting, media, group influence, and external factors, tend to fall on the wrong side of the law.

“There has to be a holistic approach to this issue,” Ratu Viliame said.

“Parents are the starting point, they need to be exposed to more awareness programs.

“Why and how the environment is shaping their lives, understand it, openly discuss the issues, and adjust accordingly.

He said one of the reasons the young easily got into trouble with the law was the lack of confidence in their own abilities.

“Perhaps because they don’t get sufficient encouragement from their elders in the village or urban communities.

“It leads to insecurity where they are unsure of themselves, and that can lead to a range of negative outcomes, including poor academic performances and a lack of motivation.”

Ratu Viliame said instilling confidence in young iTaukei people was not only the responsibility of the parents but of the community and vanua as a whole.

“Confidence is a critical life skill that will take them beyond academic bounds.”

He also stressed the significant role of the church in moulding youths.

“Many of the young iTaukei are turning to the church for a sense of belonging.

“Perhaps that will be a good avenue to pursue, but not in isolation; it must be together with the vanua.”

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