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Shield our young from sex abuse, neglect

MAIKA BOLATIKI Deputy Editor/News The launch of the Child Protection Community Facilitation Package by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Jiko Luveni, marked the beginning of
05 Oct 2012 09:07

MAIKA BOLATIKI
Deputy Editor/News

The launch of the Child Protection Community Facilitation Package by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Jiko Luveni, marked the beginning of a journey to create a caring society for our children in Fiji.
It is a fact that child abuse exists in our society and it is very much neglected.
Let us all be reminded that child abuse and neglect are preventable.  It can have physical, psychological and behavioral consequences for children, families, and society that last lifetimes, if not generations.
Reporting abuse or neglect can get help for the family or even save a child’s life.
At the launch Dr Luveni said: “The Package is designed in such a way that it builds on the strengths of communities in Fiji, recognising that children are our future generation  so that families, communities, villages and the nation has an important role to play to bring up healthy, educated, responsible, happy and productive citizens.  The package has been designed to achieve the best outcomes for children and builds on key aspects of the Community Facilitation Package, developed by the Pacific Children’s Programme and the Department of Social Welfare in 2003.”
She adds: “The ‘Children Are a Precious Gift from God’ facilitation package will be used by community facilitators nationwide when conducting awareness sessions.”
Within the context of children as gifts, the package allows parents, caregivers and community leaders to discuss the key issue of child development milestones, raising and encouraging children and understanding children’s problems.
“Other sessions include identifying children who need help, building the inner strength of a child and identifying community support for children in need. We should all be part of this nation wide sessions conducted by community facilitators in our communities.
“These awareness sessions ties in well with the roadmap to our new Fiji as we can make it a better place for the children to develop and grow in an environment of love, peace and happiness.”
A psychologist said: “Child abuse is more than bruises and broken bones. While physical abuse might be the most visible, other types of abuse, such as emotional abuse and neglect, also leave deep, lasting scars. The earlier abused children get help, the greater chance they have to heal and break the cycle—rather than perpetuating it. By learning about common signs of abuse and what you can do to intervene, you can make a huge difference in a child’s life.”
Let us all be part of this awareness programme and familiarise ourselves with the package.
We must not forget that all types of child abuse and neglect leave lasting scars.
Some of these scars might be physical, but emotional scarring has long lasting effects throughout life, damaging a child’s sense of self, ability to have healthy relationships, and ability to function at home, at work and at school
We all have a role to play.  Let’s all do our part to keep Fiji’s children safe.




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