NATION

Get Rid Of Stigma Towards People With Disabilities, Minister Urges

The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation has reminded people of the need to get rid of the social stigma towards persons with disabilities. Mereseini Vuniwaqa said this while
28 Sep 2018 11:00
Get Rid Of Stigma Towards People With Disabilities, Minister Urges
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini meeting with participants during the opening of the Western Council of Special Educators Games at Churchill Park, Lautoka on September 27, 2018. Photo: Yogesh Chandra

The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation has reminded people of the need to get rid of the social stigma towards persons with disabilities.

Mereseini Vuniwaqa said this while officiating the opening of the Western Council of Special Educators Games at Churchill Park in Lautoka yesterday.

The Games, which conclude today, saw students from the Lau­toka Special School, Ba Special School, Tavua District School, Sigatoka Special School, Nadi Special School, Ra Special School and Sunshine Special School participating in sports events.

Ms Vuniwaqa said the nation needed to change their mentality about persons living with disabilities and focus on their abilities. She also spoke about the potential to develop those abilities so that they could become independent contributors to the nation.

“In the new fiscal year beginning in August, Government has continued to provide a disability allowance under the social pro­tection programme of my ministry,” she said.

“Our commitment as a Government has been further strength­ened with the passing of the Disability Act of 2016 earlier this year.

“In June, 2017, Fiji ratified the Convention on the Rights of Per­sons with Disabilities. The rights of children with disabilities are enshrined in this Convention which articulates the need for early detection and early intervention as well as health, educa­tion and rehabilitation services.”

She said that sports are a good platform to get people together and to create awareness in the community in regards to the exist­ence of special and inclusive schools. Ms Vuniwaqa also said that such sports could be used to advocate for children with special needs.

Games co-ordinator, Sere Rokobiri said the Western Council of Special Educators Games were mostly non-competitive games, including athletics and other minor games.

She said that the whole idea behind the games was so that eve­ryone could get together and have fun. Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: yogesh.chandra@fijisun.com.fj


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