The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF) in its efforts to build awareness on citizens’ engagement with members of parliament and parliamentary processes convened the first of four divisional Parliamentary Engagement Advocacy and Civic Education (PEACE) workshops. The workshops are planned to be held in targeted locations to cover participants from the respective four (4) divisions: Central, Western, Eastern and Northern. The coverage of all four divisions intends to include participants from maritime islands as opportunities as such tend to be organized centralized leaving those living in maritime islands out of important processes.
The PEACE workshops are supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) low value grant agreements – project titled: Fiji Parliament Support Project. This series is intended to serve as awareness and knowledge initiatives on a wide range of practical parliament aspects that include interactive sessions that allow participants to put in practice theoretical materials and information shared during the sessions. These spaces will also disseminate parliament related information in formats citizens will be able to understand in order to effectively foster engagement.
The first PEACE series workshop was held at the Pearl South Pacific from 12th – 13th April 2021 which brought together a total of thirty (30) participants from Serua, Namosi and the Suva – Nausori corridor with expertise and experience in a wider range of sectors such as the NGO sector, youth and women’s community organisations, faith based organisations, provincial administration sector, Fiji disability sector, and other diverse networks.
‘Citizens have the full right to participate in governance processes and we hope that through the PEACE series, participant’s knowledge, understanding and capacity will increase, as this will help support participants engagement with members of parliament and parliament processes’ added the CCF chief executive officer, Louchrisha Hussain.
CCF acknowledges that information needs to be accessible by all citizens and not just civil society organisations in order to facilitate and support an active and engaging citizenry. Information on parliament shared in the sessions is sourced from the official ‘Parliament of the Republic of Fiji’ website (http://www.parliament.gov.fj/).
The next PEACE workshop is scheduled for April 15th – 16th in the Western division.