4 November 2016

Suva, Fiji – The European Union (EU) and the Pacific Community (SPC) today awarded two high school students for their efforts in promoting Europe in Fiji and the Pacific using social media during this year’s Europe Day celebrations.


Shilpa Sharama of Vunimono High School and Taina Guivalu of Saint Joseph Secondary School were awarded tablets, branded sportswear and school accessories by the European Union Ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific, HE Andrew Jacobs and SPC’s Officer-in-Charge (Suva),  Leon Takimoana at an award ceremony hosted by the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific.

The EU partnered with SPC for the Europe Day celebrations in May, targeting young people through a range of activities including the launch of an interactive and very successful social media campaign which coincided with a competition to support more effective engagement with youth in general.

Students were encouraged to take pictures using the popular Europe Day ‘selfie frames’ launched during the exhibition event and using their Facebook and Twitter accounts to post pictures using the hashtag #EUPac. Sharama and Guivalu were chosen based on the most number of shares on Facebook and retweets on Twitter.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Ambassador Jacobs said: ”The use of social media in the Pacific, particularly in Fiji is growing very rapidly; hence the Delegation has employed social media as an integral part of its overall communications strategy. The Europe Day social media competition this year was very successful and the EU is proud to have partnered with SPC for such an initiative that benefited young people.”

The social media campaign, tracked primarily through Twitter engagement using the hashtag, resulted in over 800,230 impressions over the three days of the exhibition. Consequently, this has set the benchmark for future publicity campaigns, utilising this highly relevant platform.

“The Pacific Community was happy to partner with the EU Delegation towards this very important occasion.  We recognise the importance of youth as a significant stakeholder group in its role in the region, and is keen to promote the use of platforms such as social media to engage with them and make our work and that of donors like the EU more accessible,” Mr Takimoana said. [/restrict]