KOROIPITA gatekeeper Laleshwar Deo believes advocacy programs like the Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community (ZTVFC) are making positive inroads into reducing violence against women and children.
Speaking to this newspaper during the Western Division ZTVFC gatekeepers consultations in Lautoka yesterday, the 42-year-old Lautoka man said Koroipita had seen changes since the community committed itself to being violence -free in 2008.
"People live in harmony and have very good relations with each other. If there is a problem, we have a process to follow to resolve it and this includes discussions and forgiveness," he said.
The Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation — facilitators of the ZTVFC program — said the consultations formed a collaborative approach between the ministry, police and communities to combat violence against women and children.
"As part of this program, the ministry and Fiji Police Force work together with the community leaders, church leaders, women's leaders, youths and children to form a gate-keeping committee that plays an important role to ensure that principles of this program are inculcated and society works together to create peaceful, violence-free communities for women and children," said minister Dr Jiko Luveni.