NATION

Need For Money Lures More Street Kids To Suva

“It is not like before when family members looked after each other. We have found that in some cases where children come from villages and islands, they are required to pull their own weight,” Mr Fatiaki said. “They have to make their money because nothing comes for free. Then there are cases when the same children run away from home because they are given extra work and not treated properly. “And there are cases where some have been abused.”
06 Oct 2019 13:33
Need For Money Lures More Street Kids To Suva

There are more children on the streets of Suva because they are looking for money says director of Social Welfare Rupeni Fatiaki.

He said the Social Welfare Department through its profiling had found that some children were dropped in the morning and then picked in the afternoon so they could make money.

“It is not like before when family members looked after each other. We have found that in some cases where children come from villages and islands, they are required to pull their own weight,” Mr Fatiaki said.

“They have to make their money because nothing comes for free. Then there are cases when the same children run away from home because they are given extra work and not treated properly.

“And there are cases where some have been abused.”

Mr Fatiaki said there was a perception in society that all such issues were the Government’s problem.

He said these problems highlighted the breakdown in the family unit and in society.

“The churches and religious institutions can reach out and help with such social issues, however you have to think about what our churches are discussing,” he said.

“The Government can only do so much.”

Last Sunday, a group of children were loitering around MHCC asking for money.

One of them identified himself as Junior.

The 15-year-old said he lived in Narere and ran off from home because his parents hit him a lot.

In Laucala Bay and around Raiwai, 13-year-old Joseph Koroi sells homemade pudding.

The second of five siblings from Jittu Estate said he was not good at school work so he sold puddings to help the family.

Mr Fatiaki said a combined approach was needed and while the Government could only do so much, it was the society’s obligation to deal with such issues.

Edited by Percy Kean

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