NATION

Call Helpline, Minister Urges Yasa-Traumatised Children

Ms Vuniwaqa said at the moment there was a challenge to identify children who were in need of help if they were traumatised by Cyclone Yasa.
24 Jan 2021 14:46
Call Helpline, Minister Urges Yasa-Traumatised Children
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Mereseini Vuniwaqa carrying six month old Litia Grace at Seaqaqa on January 22, 2021.

Children who were traumatised as a result of Tropical Cyclone Yasa are to call the national child helpline 1325 whereby the line ministry will make referrals accordingly.

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa said children could call from any landline or mobile network if they need help.

Ms Vuniwaqa said at the moment there was a challenge to identify children who were in need of help if they were traumatised by Cyclone Yasa.

“There is a challenge for parents to be able to identify that, community leaders, health workers. it is so critical that they be able to identify the need for children faced by the trauma to be assisted,” Ms Vuniwaqa said.

“If it is hard for them to contact the non-governmental organisation, the first stop can always be the ministry as everybody knows where social welfare is and from there we can make the right referrals.”

Ms Vuniwaqa understands the challenges communities are facing since the cyclone, particularly in the Northern Division that may escalate to children not being able to go to school.

She hopes that parents and caregivers can prioritise in identifying the needs of their children.

“If we’re facing difficulties in sending our children to school maybe because of the school uniforms, bags or exercise books, please reach out as there are organisations and agencies, development partners that are assisting in this regard,” she said.

“Sending children to school, that in itself would be a great advantage for kids, who may have faced trauma during the cyclone, going to school they are with their peers and they can discuss issues that can be elevated to school administration and that gets picked up in the formal system.

“Having said that, I understand the difficulties and the challenges the parents are facing at this time, particularly for those who are not able to put together the utilities for their kids

“If you’re not able to do that, come to social welfare, tell us and we will make the right referrals and linkages to the right organisations,” she advised.

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj


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