August 28, 2016 6:28 am

Bangladesh commits to violence free program

Bangladesh Settlement in Tavua has become the latest community to declare its pledge to the Government’s on-going commitment to create violence-free communities in Fiji. This was achieved after the settlement completed 10 phases of awareness programs training that took place within a period of 11 months. The training was spearheaded by the Ministry of Women, […]

Bangladesh Settlement in Tavua has become the latest community to declare its pledge to the Government’s on-going commitment to create violence-free communities in Fiji.

(standing in middle) Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar with the residents of Bangladesh settlement in Tavua during the declaration of violence free program. (DEPTFO)
(standing in middle) Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar with the residents of Bangladesh settlement in Tavua during the declaration of violence free program. (DEPTFO)

This was achieved after the settlement completed 10 phases of awareness programs training that took place within a period of 11 months.

The training was spearheaded by the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation in partnership with the Fiji Police Forces and non-government organizations.

Earlier this week the Minister for Women, Children, and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar unveiled a billboard erected in front of this community that reflected this latest development for the settlement where she reiterated the importance of a collaborative approach to eliminate violence.

AKBAR: “Violence is not a private matter anymore it must be reported to the relevant authorities. There are laws like the Domestic Violence Decree and the Child Welfare Decree that protects the women and children against all forms of violence. Through this program, the Ministry reaches out to the communities with information and awareness programs.”

She said the billboard that stands in this community is a constant reminder of the community commitment, that you all will work together as a community to champion a violence-free society.

AKBAR: “The Ministry is working with the Fiji Police Forces to address this issue and we need your support in this venture. There are platforms like National Child Helpline “1325” through which you can seek free counselling on child welfare issues and Ministry is also working on developing a Domestic Violence Helpline, which will be a 24 hour service to seek advice and counselling.”

(seated on left) Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar while speaking to the residents of Bangladesh settlement in Tavua during the declaration of violence free program. (DEPTFO)
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar while speaking to the residents of Bangladesh settlement in Tavua during the declaration of violence free program. (DEPTFO)

Bangladesh Gatekeepers Committee chairperson Mrs Swashni Devi thanked the Government initiating this program in their community.

DEVI: “There are over 200 people in this community who had the opportunity to participate in the series of awareness and interactive discussions. There were workshops on women’s rights, gender based violence, women’s leadership, child welfare, justice and law, gender equality, financial literacy to name a few.”

Mrs Devi said a gatekeepers committee has been established and it readily available to assist anyone who needs assistance in our community and this program has enabled us to develop close networks with the Police and Ministry of Women.

DEVI: “We would like to thank the government for creating this initiative in our community that has given us women the incentive to develop our capacity as women leaders. We thank Minister Akbar for her visit, it has enabled us to look at potential income generating projects for our women’s group.”

Mr Rishi Deo, representative of the Bangladesh settlement described the program as crucial for community development.

DEO: “Violence destroys a family and the future of our children and we will not tolerate any forms of violence in this community. We are trying to nurture the values of respect and trust among our community members so that we can become a model community that thrives on unity. It has been an eye opener for our community members, reminding them to respect the law and order at all times, anyone who commits crime like violence will not be spared, they will have to face the law.”