Fiji’s ‘Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community’ campaign is gaining momentum with more than 40 communities endorsing the move.
Naivuvuni village in Ra province became the 41st community to declare support for the Campaign with village and community leaders vowing to fight against the evil.
Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Minister Dr Jiko Luveni said that the Campaign envisions strengthening of family bonding and inculcates greater respect and care for women and children.
“The foundation to creating violence free communities is through having peaceful and happy families. We should make every effort to invest quality time with our families, especially for parents to spend quality time with their children,” she said.
Dr Luveni was the chief guests at a function held in Naivuvuni on June 14, at which the community expressed its solidarity in ridding Fiji of family violence.
“Naivuvuni has demonstrated that through community support everyone can lead a peaceful life, free from violence,” she said.
Village Turaga-ni-koro Mosese Nasovi said that the Campaign had made people realise and acknowledge the importance of women as instruments of change in their communities.
“The population of our village is 300. We depend on fishing and farming for daily living. Women are the backbone of our community and hence empowering them means empowering our families and our nation,” he said.
He said that the village was proud of the Campaign because it focuses on protecting women and children from all forms of violence.
“We have received a series of awareness programs and people have learnt that violence is not acceptable and there are laws and legislations that protect women and children,” Mr Nasovi said.
“There is a strengthened family bonding, and youngsters are now determined about their future. The campaign has also united the villagers and it is strongly supported by the church leaders, youth, women and elderly members.”
Village Soqosoqo Vakamarama President Siteri Rokua said that workshops will be conducted regularly on awareness and understanding of the decrees relating to domestic violence, child welfare and laws protecting women and children.
“We had an opportunity to participate in leadership and personal development workshops, which enabled us to become better mothers and wives. The campaign empowers us to report domestic violence cases and inform villagers that violence is not acceptable in any situation,” she said.