Pro­gramme to as­sist Na­somo with re­build­ing

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The dec­la­ra­tion of Na­somo vil­lage in Tavua as a vi­o­lence free com­mu­nity has come at an apt time to as­sist the com­mu­nity in its ef­fort to re­build lives af­ter Cy­clone Win­ston, says a state­ment from the Min­istry of Women, Chil­dren and Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion. Through as­sis­tance of the Min­istry of Women and Fiji Po­lice, this com­mu­nity had un­der­gone 10 phases of aware­ness train­ings over a pe­riod of 12 months to pre­pare them for the dec­la­ra­tion. Min­is­ter for Women, Chil­dren and Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion, Rosy Ak­bar re­cently un­veiled a bill­board erected in front of Na­somo vil­lage which sig­ni­fies the part­ner­ship be­tween the Na­somo vil­lagers and the Min­istry to­wards elim­i­nat­ing vi­o­lence. Ms Ak­bar’s visit also en­abled the com­mu­nity to have in­ter­ac­tive dis­cus­sions on the way for­ward to ini­ti­ate new eco­nomic projects for the Na­somo Women’s Group. Min­is­ter Ak­bar thanked Na­somo vil­lagers for their part­ner­ship with the min­istry in the en­deav­our to ad­dress the is­sue of vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren.

“The zero tol­er­ance vi­o­lence free com­mu­nity pro­gramme started in 2009, till to­day 87 com­mu­ni­ties have joined this pro­gramme,” Ms Ak­bar said. “Through this pro­gramme the Min­istry reaches out to com­mu­ni­ties to raise aware­ness on var­i­ous plat­forms avail­able to seek as­sis­tance when ad­dress­ing is­sues like do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. “There are laws, like Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence De­cree, Child Wel­fare De­cree in place and there av­enues like Na­tional Child Helpline 1325 which op­er­ates 24 hours to pro­vide free coun­selling ser­vices.

“With the open­ing of le­gal aid of­fices around the coun­try, women will have bet­ter ac­cess to jus­tice and le­gal as­sis­tance as well.

“Ad­dress­ing vi­o­lence against women is ev­ery­one’s re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and as such it must be dealt with ac­cord­ingly.” Vil­iame Roko­raiba, Na­somo vil­lage head­man says the pro­gramme pro­vides a new be­gin­ning for his peo­ple. “There are over 300 peo­ple in this vil­lage and the ma­jor source of liv­ing is through farm­ing. “The vi­o­lence free pro­gramme which has been im­ple­mented with sup­port of the Min­istry is timely, es­pe­cially now when fam­i­lies in Na­somo are try­ing to re­build their lives af­ter cy­clone Win­ston. “A gate­keep­ers com­mit­tee has been formed that works dili­gently to en­sure the wel­fare of women, chil­dren and fam­i­lies. “Through this ini­tia­tive, more em­pha­sis is now given on de­vel­op­ing fam­i­lies, as the foun­da­tion for de­vel­op­ing our com­mu­nity.” Speak­ing on be­half of Namoso Women’s Club, their pres­i­dent Mere­oni Ramiu spoke about the pos­i­tive im­pacts of the pro­gramme. “There 60 women in our vil­lage and most of them are mar­ket ven­dors. Since the in­tro­duc­tion of this vi­o­lence free pro­gramme, our women are recog­nised, they have de­vel­oped their con­fi­dence to equally par­tic­i­pate into vil­lage meet­ings. “We also look for­ward to start an in­come gen­er­at­ing project with the as­sis­tance of the Min­istry and to also par­tic­i­pate in events like the Na­tional Womens’ Expo to show­case our skills,” Ms Ramiu said. Source: Min­istry of Women, Chil­dren and Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion

Photo: Min­istry of Women, Chil­dren and Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion

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