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October 04, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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The Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation together with UNICEF today launched a manual called “Children Are a Precious Gift from God’ facilitation package to combat child abuse in Fiji.

Minister for Social Welfare Dr Jiko Luveni said that this package has everything an adult needs when a child tells them they are experiencing violence or abuse.

“According to the values of human rights, a child’s need is a child’s right and we must ensure that these precious gifts of god is not abused,” Dr Luveni said.

She also added that the facilitation package will be used by the sixty trained community facilitators nationwide when conducting awareness sessions in their communities on the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

“The key message continues to reaffirm on the importance of our children to us as parents, grandparents, caregivers, community leaders and Faith based leaders,” Dr Luveni added.

Meanwhile, UNICEF’s representative Isiye Ndombi said that Fiji’s greatest resource is Fiji’s children who require urgent attention at this point in time.

“The cost of preventing abuse is much lower than the actual abuse and we should not wait for the abuse to be completed,” Ndombi said.

He also added that some families think that the way they are treating their children is good but unintentionally they are abusing their children and this facilitation package has been designed for parents as well so that they realise which lines to across and those not to.

The whole facilitation program is worth $100,000 and is being funded by Unicef and Ministry of Social Welfare.

By Indrani Krishna

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