Skip to main content
David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding


July 8, 2017

“My name is Jone Vavaloa Temo. I graduated from BYU-Hawaii in August 2014. I am a husband and a father, and I work in the peacebuilding field in Fiji.”--Jone Vavaloa Temo

"While at school I studied Political Science and Peacebuilding, two disciplines that I felt fit together well. Coming from a politically unstable country in Fiji, I have seen the consequences of such instability and its effect on our people, ranging from the high rise in poverty to unemployment. I have seen power hungry leaders who politicize ethnicities and racism, causing tensions between the two main ethnicities in Fiji. Fiji needs peacebuilders not coup makers, and that was one of the main reasons that I studied what I did."

“Most importantly, [IPB] helped me to vividly visualize what I want to do and accomplish with my life, and encouraged me to pursue my goal.”

"I am currently the Program Officer at Dialogue Fiji, a non-government organization (NGO) that organizes, facilitates and works to build a dialogue process capable of bringing people from across Fiji’s social and political divides together in dialogue. We engage with government, civil society organizations (CSO), faith-based organizations (FBO) and community-based organizations (CBO) in addressing pressing issues especially within the socio-economic scope. Our work is to set up a safe and inclusive space for Talanoa or Dialogue. This past November, we organized a 3-day Dialogue Forum on ethnic relations and discrimination which consisted of a number of panel discussions and group deliberations on key elements relating to ethnic relations in Fiji.

Dialogue Fiji pulled me in because of the courses I took in the Peacebuilding program at BYU-Hawaii. The facilitation skills that I learned in the program help me every day as a facilitator and program officer. The lessons and skills learned in the peacebuilding program can transition and be applied in the field. I use it every day in the work that I do." - Jone Vavaloa Temo 2017