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REACH raises awareness on land, legal aid

Felix Chaudhary
Thursday, December 07, 2017

LAND issues and curiosity about the Legal Aid Commission and the services it provides was the highlight of the first two days of the REACH Western Division mission.

United Nations Development Programme project outreach co-ordinator Akuila Sovanivalu said after two days into the mission, land issues and disputes and the desire to know more about what the Legal Aid Commission offered were key issues raised.

"We were in Nalovo settlement yesterday (Tuesday) and Momi settlement today (Wednesday) and so far the mission has been very positively received," he said.

"People are more concerned about social rights and social welfare, and many are very interested in getting information about how they can access legal assistance," he said.

Legal Aid Commission lawyer Nimita Sharma, who is based at the Nadi office, said she was glad to have been given the opportunity to go out into the wider rural community.

"I grew up in Malamala, just down the road from Momi, and when they ask questions or raise issues, I can identify with them because that was me once upon a time," she shared.

"Knowing the challenges they face first-hand has given me an opportunity to address their concerns better."

REACH stands for Rights, Empowerment and Cohesion for rural and urban Fijians project.

The REACH mission is designed to raise awareness of people's rights as enshrined in the 2013 Constitution.

It takes economic, legal and social services to the people instead of citizens having to find the resources to travel to the city or town centres to access these services.

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