NEWS

People Living With Disabilities Encouraged To Become More Active Through Mobile Service Delivery

Merewai Lewaniekuvu says she is going to start farming again. She had stopped going to her farm since she developed her knee pain over the last three years. The pain
21 Dec 2017 15:30
People Living With Disabilities Encouraged To Become More Active Through Mobile Service Delivery

Merewai Lewaniekuvu says she is going to start farming again.

She had stopped going to her farm since she developed her knee pain over the last three years.

The pain discouraged her to walk to and from her farm along the unpaved path from her village located on the hill and forced her to stay at home.

Her eyes were lit up when she received the walking cane and tested it in front of her house.

She was visited by a group of specialists from the Spinal Injury Association (SIA), a non-governmental organisation working in Fiji, who provide mobility equipment and technical assistance to people in need of such support.

With the support of the Rights, Empowerment and Cohesion for Rural and Urban Fijians Project (REACH), the expert group visited the remote communities in mountainous interior of Fiji as part of the REACH mobile team who conducts awareness raising of the social, economic and legal rights enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Fiji and delivers associated services on doorsteps throughout Fiji.

The initiative is co-ordinated by the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Legal Aid Commission, Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji.

The access to Government services for the people in the communities are often challenged by the geographical location which is quite distant from towns where the services and support are being provided and even if people can travel, often there is very rough terrain delaying the transportation.

This is more so for people facing limited mobility.

However, due to the REACH mobile service delivery some of them have recently obtained the technical advice and walking aids for the first time, and some obtained readjustment or repair for the maintenance of their equipment provided earlier.

Ms Lewaniekuvu was among 222 people (103 women and 119 men) who received the REACH mobile service delivery during the four-day visit to the interior communities in Savatu District in Ba Province, Western Division.

Among them 11 people (five women and six men) were directly assisted by the SIA.

Spinal Injury Association’s Jane Savou said: “We assist people to regain their mobility they lost. We encourage people to walk by themselves with some walking aids, so they stay healthy and active.”

“We were able to provide our services to the people who need mobility assistance but had never been provided before.”

The importance of the services for people living with various challenges was evident during the visit, and it is particularly vital for those experts to reach out to the remote communities and find out the needs so that no one will be left behind. It was enabled through collaboration with the REACH mobile service initiative.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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