RELEASE: Young Pacific creatives recognised in regional competition

PIF Suva, 22 November 2022 – Almost 30 emerging youth artists, poets, and filmmakers from across the Blue Pacific have been recognised in a creative competition documenting key messages and raising awareness on disaster risk financing.

Under the theme Financial protection for a resilient future – Pacific Youth Perspective”, the competition attracted more than 160 entries in a range of media categories. The competition provided a space for Pacific youth to amplify their perspective on disaster risk financing.

Speaking during the virtual award ceremony on Friday 4th November, art competition winner (11-15 years) Shannon Fox from Fiji, said she was very happy to be placed first in her category.

“I would like to thank the Lord for the talent he has given me and my parents for allowing me to express my talent in art as well as the school for giving me the opportunity to not only win prizes but also to find joy in the process and the satisfaction after the hardwork”, she said.

One of the winners for the essay category (21- 25 years), Zarakala Zama from Solomon Islands, shared his gratitude for the opportunity to share his perspective on the importance of disaster risk financing through his essay, inspired by resilience and recovery following the destructive impacts of natural disasters.

“Disasters, caused by climate change and other hazards such as COVID-19, carry an expensive price tag, particularly in terms of the costs and resources that are involved in the immediate relief, recovery, and re-construction period”, Zama commented.

He added “the overarching theme acknowledges the importance of financial security in building a resilient future. It also underlines how crucial it is for Pacific youth to advocate for and take action for a resilient future in the face of disasters like COVID-19 and climate change”.

Pacific Islands Forum Acting Secretary General Dr. Filimon Manoni congratulated the winners on the creative range and quality of the entries received.

“In August 2021, we conducted a competition for youth engagement and advocacy for climate change, and received a significant number of entries. For me, the huge interest and quality of entries is a a reaffirmation of young people sharing their ideas and talents to shape and change the world. They are the main agents of change and hope for our region now, and in the years to come.”

“It is important for our future resilient and sustainable development that our youth are provided with all the opportunities for their voices to be heard. This competition has enabled those voices and the sentiments behind them to be clearly articulated in different forms of artistic expression,” Dr. Manoni commented.

The DRF Youth Competition was an initiative facilitated by the Pacific Islands Forum  as part of a DRF Learning Series supported by the Pacific Resilience Partnership DRF Technical Working Group. Commissioned in April 2022 with funding support through the World Bank’s Pacific Resilience Program (PREP), it is part of a broader effort to create awareness and understanding throughout our communities about the importance of strengthening our financial protections against disasters.

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Media contact: lisaw@forumsec.org