NATION

Katarina, 92, Thanks God For Shelter

I don’t know where my children are, but I am happy and thankful to God to have a shelter over my head, said the oldest female resident of Labasa Senior Citizens
13 May 2017 10:30
Katarina, 92, Thanks God For Shelter
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa greeting residents of Senior Citizens Home in Labasa during the mother’s day celebration on May 12, 2017. Photo:SHRATIKA NAIDU

I don’t know where my children are, but I am happy and thankful to God to have a shelter over my head, said the oldest female resident of Labasa Senior Citizens Home, Katarina, 92.

Only known as Ms Katarina, she was among other female residents at the home who celebrated an early Mother’s Day yesterday with the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa.

The excited 92-year-old who has been at the home for more than a year said she was happy to see Mrs Vuniwaqa.

“I don’t know her by face or name, but I am happy to receive a beautiful gift in a colourful bag and a delicious cake to eat,” Ms Katarina said.

 

Plea to Fijians

Mrs Vuniwaqa has called on Fijians to respect and look after their mothers and older women in their communities.

She said it was sad to see that some children had failed in their duties to look after their elderly parents.

“We are aware of the challenges that women face not only in Fiji, but around the world in relation to gender-based violence and inequality whether at work, home or out in the communities,” Mrs Vuniwaqa said.

“This is an on-going thing. I don’t believe Mother’s Day should be celebrated for one day. It is an everyday celebration,” the minister stressed.

“I know that Mother’s Day is something that we look forward to and I am here on behalf of the Government to assure you that this Government is thinking about you on this Mother’s Day and my being here is a testimony to that,” she said to the residents gathered for the celebration.

In many homes around the country, it is a norm to hold a special celebration at home for mothers tomorrow.

“It is so sad when we see these mothers because we know they have children, but the question is where are they? The sad message is that the state has to step in to do what we children have to do at home,” the minister said.

“Mother’s Day is a day that we stress to our children to appreciate and respect their mothers,” she said.

“Motherhood is something that we treasure everyday and it is a pleasure and honour that we enjoy every day. It is something that we look forward to every day.”

Fourteen women at the home were given special gifts prepared by the ministry.



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