NATION

Headman Claims Children Begging Near Malls In Laucala Bay Are From Wailea And Jittu Estate

“I am very sure that the begging that happens near Cost-U-Less, Sports City and Damodar City, does not involve our children. From what we know, these children are from Wailea and Jittu Estate in Raiwai.”
22 Oct 2020 10:07
Headman Claims Children Begging Near Malls In Laucala Bay Are From Wailea And Jittu Estate
Sign outside Cost-U-Less in Suva that prohibits selling and begging around their premises.

There are no children who live near Laucala Bay, Suva, begging at the shopping malls.

That’s the assurance from the Turaga-ni-Koro (headman) of Muanivatu Settlement, Alipate Radrodro.

In response to claims that children from the settlement are seen begging near the malls in Laucala Bay, Suva, Mr Radrodro said the people in the settlement do not entertain begging.

“We have put the word through to all families living in Muanivatu that we do not wish to see any children from this settlement begging,” Mr Radrodro said.

“I am very sure that the begging that happens near Cost-U-Less, Sports City and Damodar City, does not involve our children. From what we know, these children are from Wailea and Jittu Estate in Raiwai.”

School-aged children, mostly boys, are still found begging around the shopping mall areas in Laucala Bay. Some of them come across as aggressive.

Tertiary student Shanta Grace, 20, said she and her friends have encountered boys between the ages of 10 and 16, asking for money near Fatty’s Shop.

“They make the approach when we come out of Joji’s. They persist for money even when we turn them down,” she said.

Security officers near Cost-U-Less said they would chase away the children from the area because customers have complained about their rude behaviour and persistence.

The director of the Department of Social Welfare, Rupeni Fatiaki, said in some cases the parents of these children do know where they were and what they were doing.

“It is a complex issue. There are cases where children are begging, then there are cases where the children are selling items, but also beg by asking for loose change,” Mr Fatiaki said.

“We have also found that in some cases we are dealing with absent parents. The parents are not at home, they may be drinking grog or doing something elsewhere and not looking after their children.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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