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Ministry Intensifies Work On The Mentally Challenged

A co-ordinated committee on street beggars led by the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation and the Fiji Police have intensified efforts to assist the mentally challenged found on
07 Jun 2015 10:25
Ministry Intensifies Work On The Mentally Challenged
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar.

A co-ordinated committee on street beggars led by the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation and the Fiji Police have intensified efforts to assist the mentally challenged found on the streets.

The Ministry has todate profiled more than 70 streets beggars from Suva, Nausori, Ba, Lautoka, Nadi and Labasa.

The chair of this committee, Minister Rosy Akbar, said so far eight mentally-challenged individuals, who were found on the streets, had been referred to St Giles Hospital for treatment.

“The ministry ensures that mentally-challenged are provided medical treatment.

“I am glad to say that two of the women street-dwellers who had been treated at St Giles have been reunited with their families.

The Minister said: “The key challenge, we faced when we started the operation late last year was the resistance from those who have been begging for quite some time.

“These are generational beggars who have been on streets for more than 20 years. Through consistent mentoring and counselling, the ministry has been able to get some of them into skills training and income-generating programmes,” she said.

“We’ve equipped them with skills and tools which have motivated them to work towards becoming self-reliant and live a dignified life. The ministry works together with Fiji Police to monitor their progress.”

Similarly, some have also acquired full time employment through the skills training opportunities provided at the Rehabilitation Centre for Beggars known as ‘Good Samaritan Inn’ at Colo-i-Suva.

“The centre is doing well and I am informed that two of the trainees are now employed at Crest Chicken factory.

“Our deepest gratitude and acknowledgement goes to this company for creating employment opportunity to those two men.

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