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Operation Beggar Beat Completed

September 05
08:01 2014

The Department of Social Welfare’s recent beggar profiling exercise done during the Vodafone Hibiscus Festival concluded that addressing the issue of street begging required an integrated approach.

The ‘Operation Beggar Beat’ team comprises social welfare officers and Police officers who jointly carried out information collection on the beggars in Suva during festival.

The Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Jiko Luveni, said the team managed to interview 23 beggars, some of whom came from other divisions.

“Of the 23 profiled, 10 were males and 13 were females between the ages of 21 to 57 years,” Dr Luveni said.

She said 10 of these cases were already receiving monthly social welfare assistance and one of them was an outpatient at St Giles Hospital.

“We are also assisting one of the female beggars in regards to her request for housing assistance.”

Dr Luveni said the information and data collected would help to map the way forward to assist these beggars.

“The aim is to devise strategies to help these beggars by elevating their standard of living and ability to earn income through skills training.”

She said they wanted to open up opportunities for employment and income-generating projects.

“Proper medical care and shelter will also be provided to those in need and the next phase is to study each case carefully to identify the potentials of each individual beggar.”

Dr Luveni said they needed to talk to their families to find out the best means to assist them in order to ensure they do not return to the streets.

Feedback:  zafiya.shamim@fijisun.com

 

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