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From The Streets To A Job

From The Streets To A Job
April 20
11:29 2016

Avid letter writers employ homeless people, urge business houses to also help

A Lautoka company, whose directors admitted they had come from broken families, have given a group of street dwellers a chance in life by providing employment for them.

At the same time, they have managed to reunite one of their employees with his family.

Narayan Reddy Cleaning Services was formed by avid letters to the editor writer Narayan Reddy and veteran contributor Allen Lockington.

Company director Mr Reddy, who previously worked for a pest control company, has called upon business houses to help Government by employing street people.

Mr Reddy said he met with Mr Lockington along with the help of Wise Muavono, who is also an avid letter writer, to start the company with a different vision.

“After we won the tender, we decided that we had to give a chance to those that sleep in the street and bus stand a chance at life by providing unemployment for them,” Mr Reddy said.

“We felt that we needed to help Government by getting less people living on the streets and the only way was to provide employment and help them reunite with their families.”

He said their latest recruit was a man in his late 20’s who was living with his wife in a culvert in Lautoka.

“I took him and his wife to have breakfast and asked him if he wanted to work. He agreed and we provided a job and gave him a set of uniform and boots,” Mr Reddy said.

“Now we are looking for a proper home where he and his wife can live comfortably.”

Mr Reddy said another employee; a 57-year-old man with four children, had left his family because he was old and could not provide for them and ended up living in the Lautoka bus stand for four years.

“We got him to work, went and found his family and told them he was now employed and since then he has moved back home and living happily with them,” he said.

Mr Reddy said there were a few struggles when he first started the business and at times, Mr Lockington, Mr Muavono and he would go without any pay so long as those they employed received their dues at the end of the week.

Two employees and former street dwellers, Amena Seru and Tevita Vuniyayawa, said they were happy with the work they were doing as they were now earning money.

Mr Lockington said their urge to employ such people stemmed from the fact that he and Mr Reddy came from broken homes, although he did not elaborate on this.

“If companies around Fiji see the street people the way we do and provide employment for them, then we have less people living on the streets,” Mr Lockington said.

Lautoka City Council chief executive officer Jone Nakauvadra commended the company for the initiative in providing employment for the underprivileged.

“Not many companies will do this so I am really grateful that these street people who are now employed have been given the chance to uplift their standard of living.

“The Council is indeed grateful to the company in making it possible for these people to have a better life,” Mr Nakauvadra said.

Edited by Filipe Naigulevu



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