Programme to assist Nasomo with rebuilding
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