December 14, 2004

NEWS: Children have their say - FIJI

Children have their say

LUSIANA SPEIGHT (Tuesday, December 14, 2004)

THEIR parents have described these kids as creative, self-motivated and extremely lucky.

They will be our eyes, voice and ears at a Children's Forum in Hong Kong next week.

Fellow members of Kids Link Fiji voted the three to represent Fiji at the forum.

The three are Narisha Karan of Saint Joseph Secondary School, Caroline Brown also of Saint Joseph Secondary School and Sheniel Sen of Dudley High School and they are 17 years old.

The three teenagers were invited by the co-ordinating committee for Children's Council in Hong Kong to the forum, which would be held on December 18 and 19.

With less than two years of being in operation Kids Link Fiji is now internationally recognised with its members constantly invited to attend summits overseas.

The three are now doing their last minute preparations before they jet out of the country on Thursday.

Narisha, who is part of the Project group for Kids Link Fiji, says she is excited about the trip and is happy about the opportunity to voice her views and opinions at the forum.

"I am very happy to be selected to attend the forum and express my views in Hong Kong," she said.

The student, who is the youngest of three children has been described by her father, Vijendra Karan, as a self-motivated child.

Narisha like many kids her age enjoys meeting new people and having fun and lists her favourite subject as English and accounting.

"I'm not sure of what I want to do in the future but I do hope to go into the field of accounting," she said when asked of her future aspirations.

Her colleague, Caroline Brown, is also an active teenager who enjoys horse riding, shopping and hanging out with friends.

So how did she feel about being selected to attend the forum in Hong Kong? "I feel great because I get to represent Kids Link Fiji overseas and tell everyone there what we do," she said.

"The members of Kids Link Fiji is the voice for children in Fiji and Rotuma."

Caroline is a member of the media and newsletter group for Kids Link and lives in Caubati with her family.

Her mother Jacinta Brown is proud of the teenager and was ecstatic about the news of her child's selection.

"I feel very proud and I have confidence in her work, she is a very creative child," said Mrs Brown.

The only boy in the group is Sheniel Sen who describes his selection as a very rare and wonderful opportunity says he hopes to make full use of the trip.

Like many boys his age the lad who lives in Wailoku in Tamavua, says he loves rugby, basketball and drawing.

"My favourite subject is English and I would love to become an architect when I grow up." He said.

Sheniel has a brother, Jejay, who is also a member of the Kids Link Fiji.

His mother, Sashi, says she feels great about her son's achievement and adds that he is lucky to be one of the three selected to represent the country to the forum.

The forum was set up by the co-ordinating committee for the Children's Council in Hong Kong to support a meaningful participation of children in matters concerning them.

Kids Link Fiji is an organisation by children for children's whose main objective is to advocate child's rights and responsibilities.

The children have an office at Pender Street in Suva with their very own activity caravan where they are based at.

With the availability of the technological equipment such as computers, telephones, fax machines and the rest, the members of Kinds Link Fiji produce their very own weekly newsletters which is available online.

The three representatives were presented with their tickets at the Kids Link Fiji office in Suva yesterday in the presence of their parents and officials at the office.

The Director for the Kids Link Fiji Irshad Ali said he was proud of sending the three to the forum and trusts that they would be good ambassadors for all the children in Fiji.

"These kids have been remarkable with the association and have been voted by their peers," he said.

"They are all outstanding and we here at Kids Link Fiji are proud to be sending this group to the forum in Hong Kong."

At the forum, the three would be given the opportunity to make a brief presentation on the importance of child participation and their experiences as a member of a child-led organisation.

The forum at Hong Kong is funded by the Save the Children's Fund of Sweden.

The three would be chaperoned to the meeting by Child Participation and Development Officer Lynette Petueli of Save the Children Fiji.


Chris Schuepp
Young People's Media Network - Coordinator
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