The recipients of the Care and Protection Program (C&P) have lauded the Fijian Government for its commitment to reach out and assist the less fortunate families in Fiji.
Speaking at the launch of the new report “Child Sensitive Social Protection in Fiji: Assessment of the Care and Protection Allowance Report,” the C&P recipients thanked Government for its continued support towards the underprivileged children in Fiji.
Ms Niumai Wati Ravia, a widow from Lami said that C&P allowance helps her to look after her grandchildren.
“I am the only breadwinner for my two grandchildren aged 6years and 3 years. I have been receiving monthly allowances of $30 and the $50 food voucher that I receive also helps me to look after their needs. I had applied last year and I was very happy that the Department of Social Welfare has approved my application. The government and UNICEF should be acknowledged for conducting such research that will enable this sort of assistance to be extended to many more children in Fiji,” Ms Ravia said.
Similar sentiments were shared by 52 year old Marica Tinanitabua from Raiwasa.
“I have 3 children who are supported by C&P allowance and a monthly food voucher. My husband suffered from stoke and he is unable work so I am employed as a maid. I have been receiving Care and Protection Allowances for the last 3 years and I receive $110 cash allowances along with $50 food voucher very month. This helps me to support my children, prepare their school lunch and buy educational materials they need.”
“I thank the government for helping less fortunate families like us to ensure that our children are given the opportunity to access education and have a good future. Thank you to the government of the day for their continued assistance through various programs like free milk, free weetbix, and other similar initiatives,” Mrs Tinanitabua said.
In her opening address, Minister Akbar reiterated that the Fijian Government is spending over half a billion dollars in the education sector.
The provisions of free education, free bus fare, free text books, initiative are all indicative of the Fijian Government’s commitment to ensure that children of this country are provided with the opportunity to access and aspire for academic excellence.
Making social protection for children our priority will not only benefit the child but also the family as this will mitigate the effect of poverty on families and will strengthen family relationships, thus building stronger communities and greater nations,” Minister Akbar said.