Minister Rosy Akbar meets with the elderly at the Samabula Senior Citizens Home during a site visit.Photo:SUPPLIED.
Families have been urged to treat the underprivileged persons in our communities with respect, care and compassion.
These are the comments by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty, Hon. Rosy Akbar in light of the Eid festival which will be celebrated this weekend.
Minister Akbar visited the Samabula Senior Citizens Home in Suva today and surprised the oldest resident at this Home. Ms Benina Cirivesi with a birthday treat.
Ms Cirivesi has lived at the Samabula Senior Citizens Home since 2009 and turned 99 years on Tuesday last week. The elderly citizen was overwhelmed with joy as she received her birthday present from Minister Akbar and her team at the Ministry.
Ms Cirivesi who hails from Gau Island revealed that it was the first time for her to celebrate her birthday. She doesn’t have any family, her only daughter passed away at the age of 9 and her late husband also passed away a few years ago.
“I am lost for words, this is the first time for me to have a birthday cake. I am grateful to this wonderful lady (Minister Akbar) who has continued to visit me and has shown that senior citizens are not forgotten. It brings us so much happiness in our hearts to see that there are people out there who care for us. I thank the Almighty for giving us these wonderful leaders who have the heart to give, care and show concern for our wellbeing,” Ms Cirivesi said.
Minister Akbar reiterated that the Fijian Government is committed to ensure that senior citizens age with care, respect and dignity.
“It is indeed sad to see that the residential care homes are full of senior citizens, there is a lot of applicants waiting to be absorbed into existing facilities. And through the National Council for Older Persons (NCOP) the Ministry will raise awareness on the need for senior citizens to be kept within the vicinity of their homes, with their families and among their loves ones.
“As we prepare for the Eid celebrations in the weekend, I urge families to please remember the people around you. It is my humble plea to the families and communities to please provide care, comfort and support to the senior citizens.
“Let’s take this celebration of Eid to work together, show care and compassion and to make a positive difference in the lives of the underprivileged individuals and families in Fiji,” Minister Akbar said.