Dr Tokon and Peter Bongaim – West Ambrym Youth President


The Ministry of Youth and Sports through the National Youth Council joined young people round the world to celebrate the International Youth Day all over Vanuatu, including at Craig Cove, West Ambrym on August 10 and 11.

At the Commercial Centre in West Ambrym, the celebration was attended by approximately 200 young people from Lalinda to Wakon.

Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV), which is a partner to the Ministry of Youths and Sports, was represented by its Chief Executive Officer, Dr Willie Tokon in the Festival.

TIV was a major sponsor of the event through its financial assistance towards food, transportation, fuel and sound system.

“We at TIV are keen to support such events to promote those important values to guide young people in the right direction to become good leaders of tomorrow,” TIV’s CEO said.

“Life’s vital values including integrity, honesty, fairness and transparency are among our messages which we emphasise to young people in all events involving youths that we engage”.

CEO Tokon made it clear that his address was not a political campaign but based on the realities on the ground today, urging young people to wake up and practice these good life values when they mature.

“I confirmed in my address that the truth today is that while our leaders are struggling for power and money, our average citizens and grass-root people in our communities are struggling for essential services including good roads, good airfields, good wharves, good schools and good health facilities,” he said.

He said these are development projects which elected MPs should focus on through their MP Allocations for the benefit of their voters and communities.

The CEO said he raised the issues to help young people to remember when they become the leaders of tomorrow.

Equipped with good life values, our youths of today or future leaders must be aware of what our present leaders are doing and make improvements where required.

“Don’t think about lining your pocket with public money when you gain access to power, or bribe people to vote for you,” Dr Tokon warned.

“Vanuatu is a Christian country so I believe we should place God first in all that we do because when we fear God then we will try to do right at all times and we will be fine.”

Recalling the operations of the original Walter Lini Government in the 1980s, he said that most probably the majority of MPs were God-fearing Church Leaders.

“Our original MPs in 1980s guided their decisions with their faith in God that allowed them to do what was right,” Dr Tokon said.

“But today, you can work for only four hours in one day and get paid for eight hours, which is cheating and is wrong or use an official vehicle to do private work which is robbing the people of its resources.”

In his concluding remarks, the CEO said following the celebrations, he went to church in an inland community of Craig Cove.

“After the service, an elder asked me to brief them on the political situation in Port Vila.

“They were so interested that youth leaders pleaded with him for TIV to return to them on a regular basis to repeat to them what he had just finished addressing them on especially on those specific ‘good life’ values.”