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Fiji Time: 1:52 AM on Saturday 20 September

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MAD makes a difference

Shalveen Chand
Sunday, October 02, 2011

Really MAD, its about a making a difference, a non-governmental organisation which empowers people to help themselves, was warmly welcomed as they opened their office in Raiwaqa.

MAD stands for Making A Difference.

The NGO was a dream of London social worker Gavin Barker who five years ago had a chance of working with the unemployed youths in Suva.

"My wife got work at the University of the South Pacific and I was wondering what to do.

"I am a social worker and decided to start the Ngo to help youths empower themselves," said Mr Barker.

Five years ago, Mr Barker was involved with the boys at Chevalier Youth Hostel and through his program, one is a soldier in the British Army and a youth was recently admitted as a lawyer.

"Our programs are designed to help people help themselves.

"Through these programs they pick up skills and we help them get employment through the National Employment Centre," said Mr Barker.

The doors of the Really MAD office was opened by Chief Justice Anthony Gates in Raiwaqa.

He said it was a pleasure to see a project he had known about to finally become a reality.

Justice Gates said in Fiji it was seen that unemployment was a leading factor and to see that a NGO as such was always a good investment.

Really MAD programs offers unemployed youths a chance to help themselves, provides anger management for people who in rage tend to hurt their loved ones and teaches parents how to discipline their children without the use of a stick.

Unlike, other NGOs who are funded by an overseas agency, Really MAD is running its programs through funding provided by Mr Barker and a friend in England.


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