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FencFiji Newsletter

FencFiji Newsletter

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Published by Raj Singh
News letter on Ram Deo family - initiated by Samaaj Sewa Fiji USA
News letter on Ram Deo family - initiated by Samaaj Sewa Fiji USA

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Published by: Raj Singh on Jul 05, 2011
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07/05/2011

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Foundation for the Education of Needy Children in Fiji Newsletter
Striving for a Better Future

T

here will always be problems in the community, but the more important thing is not only to address the problems but to invest in the long term family structures that will give the poorest in our community tools to improve their lives. This is the view of Team Jewel – a group of Fenc Fiji volunteers striving to make life better for a family desperate for a home. On the 25th June 2011, Team Jewel gathered at the Ram family residence to build a home for the family. The initiative brought together community volunteers – all eager to lend a helping hand. Weeks of preparation and collecting building material gave the team a head start. Fortech Construction volunteers, Westpac Suva staff, and other business associates came together, putting up walls, roofing and windows under the guidance of Sanjay Patel an Architect with concern for the poor.

Living in cramped, squalid conditions, Ram Deo family have endured 17 years of neglect in a one room tin shack not much bigger than an average bedroom, open fireplace, a bed for a family of four and a dripping roof. “This is not a home for human habitation. If we can only give them optimism, we will see the difference within a short period of time. Everyone deserves a shelter.” Irshad Ali.

There was further sense of excitement as Lisa (Jewel Member) spoke to the children. Overcome with joy and eagerness to move into the new house, they could hardly express themselves – touching walls, jumping on the floor of what they can now call a home.

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Within the joy and happiness of seeing the framework, Mr. Ram went about passing building material and distributing refreshments for the workers.

Team Jewel with all their individual and corporate partnerships have further plans for the family – a bank account, income generation, housekeeping, gardening and a mentoring programme. Now that is change worth living!

Team Jewel at the project site

The day further concluded with Jewel Team holding a meeting to discuss pending issues, arising concerns and upcoming projects.

The world around the poorest of the poor can sometimes feel very lonely and cold. We believe that for every person with a great need, there is another with just the right experience and love to minister that need.

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here is no doubt that today’s society is in constant state of change. Recent changes in the traditional family structures has left many children without sufficient adult leadership to help them lead meaningful lives.

Did you know that of all our children assisted in 2010; over 40% of them are from a single parent family? Of course, there is no way to make a blanket statement about the quality of single parent households. Single-parent homes can be just as loving and functional as homes with both parents, but too many children in the poorest families are left without an important adult role model and often lack the support and supervision they require to progress in life. This is where our coaching and mentoring program for the poorest children comes in. Our Vodafone sponsored staff – Edwin Sharma, and colleague, Monika Robinson of USP are actively engaged in developing a coaching and mentoring programme for children in some of the poorest families around the country. You may volunteer to coach and mentor a child within your area. It is one of the best ways to help children learn social skills and become healthy adults in the future. Contact us for an application form. “Together to make the difference”.

Vodafone World of Difference Volunteer
The Vodafone World of Difference approach to engaging with the voluntary sector is unique and demonstrates their deep commitment to FencFiji initiatives. Placing young enthusiasts in charities is a unique way of delivering services to the poorest sectors in the community. It offers young people to get involved in community projects, learn about issues, helping them contribute towards true community transformations. We welcome Edwin Nand as our staff - assigned to developing a coaching & mentoring programme for the poorest children in our community, Edwin has already come up with innovative ideas that make smart business sense.

Internship

“There is nothing more rewarding than working in a real situation.” Monika Robinson joins us for a three month period, conducting reviews and helping establish our mentoring programme for children. Monika brings with her a true passion for children. She is completing her BA in Sociology and Social Work of which the SW 300 is a practical attachment at FENC Fiji. “It’s a thoughtful, critical task. The study of children is inspiring to me —trying to figure them out, in particular, those in the poorest sectors. My attachment is another way to observe and know children.”

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Home Visits
For the last two years, our volunteer home visiting has been a service delivery strategy to improve the status of the poorest of the poor in our community. Home visiting is an intervention effort to influence parental behaviors, and identify some of the critical factors affecting children in their home environment. In the process, a unique relationship develops between the family and the volunteer. In addition to the cost benefit of our home visiting programme, there is immeasurable positive personal impact on individuals and families. Our volunteers demonstrate the impact that home visiting has on families. “A lot more needs to be done for children in our community. They need more than support for education – mentoring, housing and support for parents. In many homes we found children kept home for several reasons – parents inability to provide lunch, school levy payments and other education related expenses or simply neglected by parents. In squatter settlements we found several school-aged children yet to enter the education system.”

Post Box Box Appeal
In response to over 40,000 appeal letters posted, we continue to receive numerous enquiries and many of our local people contributing with donations. A donor‟s response: “Education has always been an integral part of my life. The opportunity to help children in need of education is not only a responsibility; it was and still is a calling for me. This is the point in my life when I truly realize what I have to do to help the unfortunate, for I was one of those in years gone by.”

Our Champion Lovo Club
It doesn't matter if you're selling Lovo packs as a fundraiser or just spreading the word of a sumptuous Lovo lunch. It all adds up when we count the dollars! Many thanks to our donors and Team Jewel for coming together on a very special Sunday. Well done Team Jewel. Funds collected will go towards activities for children. We expect more lovo packs shortly!

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Radio Fiji Bula FM Talkback show
Have you often wondered about how to be a Radio Host? After all, who WOULDN'T want to know the skills required to host a radio talk back show? The sad truth is - few ever make it off the sidelines and into the game – even if they've had some form of radio broadcasting training in their background. But it came naturally to our volunteer team, debating various issues affecting the poorest children and responding to public opinion.

Workshop
We participated in workshop hosted by the Poverty Alleviation Unit, designed to give organizations an opportunity to reflect together on current practice and, in particular, to consider the need for collaboration and more awareness of issues confronting the poorest sectors in the community. Attended by 12 national NGO‟s and government officials, the workshop began with a presentation on government initiatives- providing an overview of framework for poverty alleviation and discussions. Participating NGO‟s highlighted their community initiatives, success factors and issues of concerns. FerncFiji presentation began with an introduction of its purpose and objectives as well as a definition of the poorest of the poor rather than „poverty‟. The presentation provided a powerful diagnosis of the problems facing the poorest children in their quest to seek education, problems of children dropping out of school at early stages of education and data reflecting the situation of families seeking assistance for their children.

Child protection - everybody's business
The safety and welfare of children - or child protection - is everybody's business. Child abuse hits the headlines on a regular basis. We read and hear horrendous stories about neglect and cruelty, about 'the system' letting children down and about professionals who got it wrong by getting involved too late. You could be a neighbour, a friend, parent, relative, teacher or doctor - or working for any organisation which has contact with children and young people. Child protection means helping children grow into confident, healthy and happy adults and protecting them from all forms of harm. Physical, emotional, sexual abuse

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How do I deal with child abuse?
If you observe abuse, neglect or mistreatment, it is every adult‟s responsibility to engage with the child and determine the best cause of action. You know the child maybe suffering. provide the child assurance and create a protective environment for discussion listen to what the child has to say and what is important to the child keep questions neutral and don‟t give them the impression you don‟t believe them. make a mental picture of the situation - find out what happened and who was involved. If you have any suspicion, report it! It’s

in your hands.

Fenc Fiji is a volunteer-driven agency serving the poorest of the poor in our community.

An unfortunate event can bring hardship to any of us: a job loss, a medical crisis, accident, personal or family issues. Powered largely by volunteers and donations from businesses, groups and individuals in this community. The compassion and practical help given by our volunteers is a powerful component in the building of a strong, safe, caring community we all can enjoy. We thank you for joining us here and know that “together we can make a difference.”

Fenc Fiji Contact details:
Location: Senate House, Parliament Complex, Veiuto, Suva Email: fencfiji@connect.com.fj Phone: 3100660 Postal Address: PO Box 2201 Government Buildings, Suva, Fiji Islands Website: www.fencfiji.com

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