“I now have a better understanding of the dialogue process and how that can be used in peace building and promoting collaboration with the various stakeholders in the communities I work with”
“My goal is to start small and eventually work with more and more people, to help build this nation”
These were the words of Cakaudrove Provincial Council Youth President, Pelasio Vakarorogo. Key leaders from various civil society organisations, youth groups, faith based organisations, women’s groups and government ministries from around the Northern Division, converged over three days in a dialogue space designed to build trust, understanding and mutual respect to contribute to the development of their communities and the nation.
The Dialogue Fiji - convened event was held at the Savusavu Hotsprings Hotel from August 28 to 31st and included participants from the Bua, Macuata and Cakaudrove provinces.
During the three-day Dialogue, participants were exposed to in depth understanding of the methodologies of the dialogue process, understanding conflict resolution and peace building, and also identifying ways to move forward collaboratively.
A majority of the participants that attended the Northern Divisional Dialogue had not heard of Dialogue Fiji before or understood the importance of the dialogue process.
Dialogue Fiji saw this as an excellent opportunity to create awareness of their work as an NGO, working to set up safe spaces for dialogue in the country.
In May and July this year, Dialogue Fiji carried out the Central Eastern Dialogue and Western Dialogue, respectively.
Kelerayani Gavidi steps down from serving on the Dialogue Fiji Committee in pursuit of new career opportunities in Samoa.
Before leaving for her new posting, Communications and Research Officer, Fenton Lutunatabua, found time to sit down with her and talk about her experience with Dialogue Fiji
FL: So Kele, I'm interested to know about your motivations behind applying for a position on the Committee
KG: As a young woman, I have always felt that young people can achieve so much if they are given the opportunity and the space to be taken seriously, and personally, I have always known that any form of youth presence on a committee, would be an asset. When I was selected, I was extremely humbled but equally empowered to give it a shot, and I haven't looked back since
FL: What will you miss most about your involvement with the Committee?
KG: The members definitely. Each and everyone of them has taught me something different. The learning and growing they've allowed me has been irreplaceable. I will also miss the unique dynamics that the Committee offered the work of the Secretariat, particularly the enlivened discussions around decision making. It was always such an interesting thing to witness and be part of
FL: How has your time on the Committee and your understanding of the principles of Dialogue been able to better prepare you for the future- especially with the new job?
KG: I cannot stress enough how powerful dialogue is. In my new line of work I will have the opportunity to work alongside, and with various members of the region. Government officials, international parties and members of the diplomatic community. My hope and aim is that the tools and values of dialogue i.e. inclusiveness, respect, open mindedness and mutual understanding, will always remain the core
foundation of my work, and dealings.