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Fiji Time: 4:29 AM on Sunday 31 August

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Voiceless, powerless, helpless

Nanise Loanakadavu
Thursday, November 15, 2012

INFORMAL settlers want to see poverty issues addressed in the constitution.

Ben Vakaloloma, a representative from the informal settlement, said poverty was a reality in Fiji.

Mr Vakaloloma made the comments during a public seminar on the challenges of poverty to the constitution organised by the Constitution Commission at the University of the South Pacific last Friday.

He said for the past 50 years, he was saddened to witness the poor and marginalised people of this nation in poverty and their stories.

He said poverty through the eyes of the poor meant not having decent homes to live in, not having a job and not getting just wages.

He said most of them completed Form Four while employers wanted applicants with Form Six and Form Seven qualification to apply for jobs.

"Poverty for us means not being able to send our children to school or they drop out because we cannot pay their school fees," he said.

Mr Vakaloloma said it also meant not being able to provide nutritious food for the family and feeling humiliated, worthless and excluded.

He said it also meant being voiceless, powerless, dependent, feeling helpless and hopeless because there seemed to be no future for them and their children.


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