What We Do > Youth

Youth

The Pacific Disability Forum works hard to ensure that young people with disabilities are heard in the Pacific.  As part of our commitment to young Pacific Islanders with disabilities, we run a number of programs to develop future leaders of the disability movement in the Pacific.  This includes our internships, youth committee and youth regional forum
 
Our vision is that the interests of Pacific young people are mainstreamed in the both planning and implementation processes, with young people playing a greater role in the area of access to social services including health and education, and sustainable livelihood.

Youth committee

The Pacific Disability Forum’s Youth Committee is made up of 6 young people with a disability aged 18 to 35, who are living in a Pacific Island Country.  Youth Committee members are the elected presidents of their respective Disabled People’s Organisations.  The committee meet by teleconference 4 times a year and in person once a year. 
 
The Youth Committee works to ensure that young people with disabilities are heard and have their issues addressed. They do this by:
  • Engaging with national and regional organizations in the Pacific to recognize and address issues concerning youth with disabilities
  • Building the capacity of young people with disabilities in leadership roles
  • Ensuring that young people with disabilities are included in research and data collection
  • Advocacy and creating awareness programs
  • Ensuring that young people with disabilities are included in all health information and services
  • Promoting  inclusion of young people with disabilities in all services and information
  • Developing and promoting independent living programs for young people with disabilities
  • Influencing policies at national, regional and international levels. 

Youth Regional Forum

The Pacific Disability Forum holds a Pacific Regional Forum for Youth with Disabilities in conjunction with our biennial Pacific Regional Conference.  This 1 day event brings together youth representatives of Disabled People’s Organisations from around the Pacific Region to talk about issues such as health, education, employment and economic empowerment. 

The first forum is being held at Nouméa, New Caledonia in April 2013. 
 
The next Pacific Regional Forum for Youth with Disabilities will be held in 2015.  Representatives are nominated by their national DPO and the cost of attendance for these representatives is covered by the Pacific Disability Forum. 

Internships

The Pacific Disability Forum runs a 6 week Youth Internship program to help train young people with disabilities in all aspects of running a Disabled People’s Organisation.  Over the course of the internship, participants are taught the skills they need to become future leaders in their organisation and in the disability movement in the Pacific.  This hands-on and practical training covers areas such as governance, administration, leadership and communication. 
 
The first internship was held in May 2012. The training was held at the Pacific Disability Forum offices in Suva, Fiji, and was attended by young people with disabilities from Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu.  The next youth internship program will be in 2014, keep an eye on our news page for more details.  
 
If you would like more information on the Pacific Disability Forum’s youth programs contact our Gender and Youth Officer at gender@pacificdisability.org