Residents of Jittu Estate in the outskirts of Suva, a home to over 3,000 people, enjoyed the delivery of public information and services which support their daily lives, particularly crucial in the current crisis originated from the corona virus disease COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of the community were able to access the information and services such as health protection and screening, prevention and reporting of violence against women and children, economic and employment issues.
The initiative, called Rights, Empowerment and Cohesion (REACH) for Rural and Urban Fijians Project or REACH Project has been evolving and responding to needs, by integrating relevant services such as civil registrations, human rights, security and law enforcement, and banking as well as offering health and counselling services.
The REACH mobile integrated public service delivery model was adapted across the ocean by neighbouring countries, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu in 2019.
The initiative took off with support from the Government of Japan and UNDP in 2015, which is now fully integrated and operated by the Ministry of Women, Children
and Poverty Alleviation with support from the Government of Australia and UNDP.
This week the REACH Team of multi-sectoral, government-civil society organizations, led by the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation in partnership
of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) delivered an integrated package of services to the community of Jittu Estate.
The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Honorable Mereseini Vuniwaqa said, “With the global trends reporting a surge in gender based violence due
to restrictive measures taken to combat COVID-19 abroad, as well as related economic pressures, the Ministry is leading efforts in partnership with relevant stakeholders to rapidly advance prevention and response to violence against women and girls and prevention
of child abuse”.
Minister Vuniwaqa also encouraged the community members to break the silence of child abuse and violence against girls so we can end the vicious cycle of crimes against our children of Fiji. She also informed them about the Child Helpline number 1325 and Domestic Violence Helpline number 1560, a toll free number that are manned by professional counselors that are ready to assist.