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2019 Fiji Sun Person Of The Year 6: Roches At The Heart Of Rebuilding Lives At Home

Mark and wife Lynne Roche came to Fiji in 1997 from the United States of America to run the Homes of Hope in Wailoku near Suva.
31 Dec 2019 10:00
2019 Fiji Sun Person Of The Year 6: Roches At The Heart Of Rebuilding Lives At Home
BRINGING HOPE: From left: Sunil Kumar, Turenga Nakalevu, Mark Roche, Lynnie Roche and Inieta Benaca. Photo: Ilaijia Ravuwai

Mark and wife Lynne Roche came to Fiji in 1997 from the United States of America to run the Homes of Hope in Wailoku near Suva.

They have generally kept a low profile and even this week turned down an interview.

They referred the reporter to their website. But they have been responsible in building the capacity and expanding the facility to what it is today.

Their contribution is recognised and it’s the reason why they are in the top 10 of the persons of the year. This Fijian charitable organisation was set up in 1996 by Suva business people, according to its records.

The Roche family arrived the following year to begin working with homeless youth.

The records said the vision was refined through finding many women on the streets caught in sexual exploitation.

Homes of Hope has grown from a humble beginning to include a large residential 40-acre campus, an entrepreneurial training programme, and community prevention strategies.

To keep pace with the growth and need to provide for these three programmes, the Home is now staffed by professionally trained management team which uphold the following core responsibilities:

ν Women have unique value in all societies. We radically oppose depreciating women;

ν We pursue zero discrimination towards women;

ν We want girls and young women to be restored holistically. Women should be valued, respected and protected;

ν Our goal is to align with Homes of Hope culture—not necessarily any nation or people; and

ν We believe in community-based solutions.

Basically the Home creates a culture where women and children are free from the stigma and cycles of forced sex.

It believes that no child should have his or innocence stolen. Most of the girls and mothers who come to the Home are young, pregnant, traumatised and lacking direction.

Edited by Nemani Delaibatiki 

Feedback: ilaijia.ravuwai@fijisun.com.fj

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