HART Opens Children’s Play Area
The mothers of Wainibuku HART have now been guaranteed the safety of their children during their playtime in their community after the opening of a fenced play area.
Makarina Wati Toganivalu, 42, said: “We are really fortunate and we thank the Australian government and other stakeholders for this development and we will never forget it.”
The opening of the Play Safe Space was held at the HART settlement yesterday.
The project was funded by the Australian government.
“All these years we have been living in fear of our children, most of the time they go out in groups for swimming or to the main road for video games and other things to catch fun and at times we go around looking for them and its really difficult because most of us here are single mothers,” she Ms Toganivalu.
Nikhil Rahil, 10, said: “We are very happy to have a Play Space where we will play and have fun. Now our mothers know where to find us when we’re not home.”
Australian High Commissioner Margaret Twomey, said: “Ensuring the protection of children is everyone’s responsibility and is one that we should all take seriously, the Wainibuku HART Community is a great example to other communities throughout Fiji of how they can involve children in decision making and development processes that affects them.”
“I would like to encourage all the children and their parents to look after this equipment well so that other children visiting, or growing up in this community, can enjoy it, and learn that they too can have a role in development activities within their communities, I also hope that the Play-Safe Space will be an area where you will share much joy, memories and laughter, and be an area where you will always feel safe and happy,” said Ms Twomey.
Ms Twomey also urged the parents to always be on the lookout for their children while in the play space.
“In addition, Australia requires all its aid programmes in Fiji and around the world to promote and ensure the protection of children at all times,” she said.
Non Governmental Organisations Save the Children Fiji and Fiji Community Development Programme (FCDP) were also part of the project.