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New start for girls

Ivamere Nataro
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

THE opening of the renovated Pearly Gates Home last week marks a new beginning for its residents.

Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni opened the new ANZ staff-sponsored facility at Mahaffy Dr in Domain.

She also unveiled a plaque to mark the renaming of the former Mahaffy Girls Home to Pearly Gates Home, which is expected to be a living memoir of ANZ's investment.

Renovations to the home, which houses girls from the ages of 12 to 18, included a plumbing upgrade, electrical repairs, kitchen and bathroom upgrades, roof repairs, cleaning, painting, landscaping and gardening.

ANZ Suva Hub (Pacific Operations) managing director Ritesh Singh said ANZ took its societal obligations seriously and was delighted to help the home.

"The young ladies of Mahaffy Girls Home have filled us with hope because they have made ANZ a part of their legacy," Mr Singh said.

In her speech, Dr Luveni congratulated and thanked the ANZ staff members for investing in the lives of the young girls who were disadvantaged, abused or marginalised.

She said the home housed girls from different backgrounds and corresponded with the home's vision, which was to encourage them to be good citizens of Fiji.

Verenaisi Tara, one of the 10 residents said Pearly Gates meant a new beginning and that the girls could make a positive contribution to society.

She added the new name gave the girls hope in the midst of their struggle to become something.

"It feels good and I am grateful to the government and those involved for all the help and to actually know we have something that gives us hope," she said.

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