Pacific emerging creatives recognized through award ceremony
Forum Secretariat, Suva, 15 November 2022 - A total of 28 emerging youth artists, poets, and filmmakers from across the Blue Pacific have been recognised in creative competition documenting key messages and raising awareness on disaster risk financing (DRF).
Under the theme “Financial protection for a resilient future - Pacific Youth Perspective”, the youth-led competition attracted more than 160 entries for the videos, poems, essay and art categories. The competition provided a space for Pacific youth to amplify their perspective on disaster risk financing. These activities acknowledge the critical contributions that Pacific youth play in helping build a more resilient Pacific to climate change and disasters.
Speaking during the virtual award ceremony on Friday 04 November, art competition winner (11-15 years) Shannon Fox from Fiji, said she was very happy to be placed first in her category. “"First and foremost I thank God for blessing me with this talent and also to my parents and school for the support for me to express myself through art. I am also grateful for the benefits that come with this talent like winning this competition, many thanks to the Pacific Islands Forum”, 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.
“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”.
He further stated that “by participating in the essay competition, he was able to share his thoughts on any subject issues and other critical topics to be discussed where he had derived the strength to challenge himself to perform better”.
Pacific Islands Forum Acting Secretary General Dr. Filimon Manoni congratulated the winners on the creative range and quality of the entries received.
He reflected that “In August 2021, we conducted a competition for youth engagement and advocacy for climate change, and it yielded a significant number of entries. That competition, like the DRF competition, was a reaffirmation of young people as the main agents of change and improvement 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 Secretariat 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 protection against disasters.