Caption: (seated in middle) Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Rosy Akbar with the social workers of Sigatoka during the public consultations in  the west.Photo:SUPPLIED.

The Ministry for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation has reached out to more than 900 people through its public consultations held around Fiji.

Coordinated under the leadership of the Hon. Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs Rosy Akbar, these consultations provide first-hand information on social welfare, women and child empowerment programs.

The Ministry has already conducted consultations in Labasa, Korovou, Naitasiri, Navua, Lautoka, Nadi and Sigatoka. The Ministry’s next round of public consultations will be held next week from Wednesday 21st to Friday 23rd January, 2015 at Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki.

Minister Akbar explained the advantage of holding these consultations.

“It is one of the strategies used by the Ministry, to expand its reach out and assist as many people, particularly those residing in the rural and remote locations. We have received positive feedback from the consultations conducted so far through which have advised more than 900 people and given them information on the Ministry’s programs and plans.

“More importantly, we have been able to swiftly process the pending social welfare applications and at the same time identify the new cases. Women are also able to report and seek advice on cases of domestic violence and child welfare,” she said.

She added that the consultations allows her staff to explain the different income generating projects initiated through her Ministry.

“The people are also informed about the “Welfare to Workfare,” programme and ways in which the Ministry is able to empower the able bodied recipients through skills training and resources to venture into income generating projects. We are currently identifying 500 families who would be assisted through such initiatives to help them walk out of poverty.”

“Currently, there are more than 20,000 families assisted through social welfare programs and while we would like to assist poor families, there are those who have been in the system for quite some time. These are people whose children have grown up, their life is more secured now and hence they are weaned off from the system to make way for other families that are genuinely in need government’s assistance,” Minister Akbar said.

Speaking at the public consultations in Sigatoka this week, Mr Peniasi Vakili, vice-president of Nadroga/Navosa Counselling and Social Services thanked the government for organising such initiatives.



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