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Fiji Time: 8:05 PM on Friday 18 April

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Roof over their heads

Salaseini Moceiwai
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A GROUP of less fortunate children now have a roof over their heads after being housed in a newly-constructed facility in Cakaudrove over the past year courtesy of the Social Welfare Department.

The children, some of who are orphans and from broken families, have a reason to smile as they have been looked after by the State.

The Lomani Au Home was opened last year with 124 children calling it their residential homes.

Minister for Women, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation Doctor Jiko Luveni, upon her recent visit to the home, said the underlying vision for the Child Services Unit of the department was to increase awareness and advocacy on child protection.

She said children living in such foster homes needed good care and upbringing to ensure they reintegrated with their families and communities when they were older.

"There are currently 124 children in this home and all these children are under State care," Dr Luveni said.

"Under the Care and Protection Program, the ministry provides assistance to ensure the education and health needs of the children are well looked after."

Dr Luveni said the ministry would also provide capacity-building training for the child protection officers to work closely with the home managers to ensure the children were protected and cared for all the time.

"This year, the Child Services Unit will work towards maximum advocacy on the protection of the children given the increase in the number of cases received on child abuse and neglect. I hope every opportunity we get will be directed to increasing the level of awareness of the ministry's role in child protection."