FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Save the Children Fiji Commemorates Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect Day and World Children’s Day
27th November 2023.
Save the Children Fiji proudly marked the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Day in the Central and Western divisions concurrently. In the central division, the Collective Action to End Violence Against Children (CAEVAC) project held celebrations at Navatuyaba Village, Toga while the I Am Digital (IAD) Online Safety Campaign held celebrations in Lautoka. The Theme for this year’s PCAN Day celebrations was “Every Child is One caring adult away from being a success story, it starts with us”. This significant day served as a powerful reminder of our collective commitment to creating a world where every child is safe, nurtured, and free from harm.
In the central division, Save the Children Fiji Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ms. Shairana Ali, in her opening address stated, “Today’s event is a testament to the power of collective action. It serves as a platform for us to celebrate the progress we have made, acknowledge the challenges that lie ahead, and recommit ourselves to the cause”. SCF CEO also stated that PCAN Day is not just a cause; it is a moral imperative and a call to action that demands our unwavering commitment to protect and uplift every child, ensuring they grow up in an environment filled with love, security, and opportunity.
Commissioner Central, Mr. Josefa Navuku, in his Chief Guest statement also emphasized the collective efforts needed in a whole-of-society approach towards preventing child abuse and neglect. Mr Navuku also commended Save the Children on raising awareness through PCAN and acknowledged the various humanitarian interventions undertaken by SCF towards the communities and children, which included Education Assistance, Cash and Voucher assistance and food packs during COVID-19 and after cyclones.
Asia Foundation Deputy Chief of Party, Ms. Maribel Buenaobra, highlighted the core function of the Pacific RISE-CTIP program which is a five-year USAID-funded program to counter trafficking in persons in 5 focus countries: Fiji, PNG, RMI, Tonga, and Palau. “It is a privilege for us to partner with the Ministry of Women, Children, and Social Protection and Save the Children Fiji in supporting the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect activity. The Asia Foundation recognizes that children’s rights are human rights. It takes a village to raise a child and a community to protect children and youth from abuse and neglect. Everyone must do their part in protecting children and contributing to every child’s success story.” Ms. Maribel said in a statement.
The I Am Digital (IAD) Online Safety Campaign held celebrations in the western division. The event involved student participants from Jasper Williams, Tilak High School and Central College who each had a chosen speaker. The event activities included a Tik Tok Corner, Digital Artwork Corner and a Poetry Corner. With the 3 organized activities, the student participants competed and represented their schools for a chance to win prizes. These activities were aimed at cultivating students’ creativity as well as ensuring that it was exciting, and fun filled. The day was filled with captivating artwork, skits, poems, and dance centered around the theme.
The western celebration which was generously funded by META received many accolades from stakeholders and child participants for the success of the event. The Chief Guest, Principal Welfare Officer West, Ms. Arieta Tagivetaua also echoed her appreciation for the commemoration of PCAN Day in the Western Division.
We extend our gratitude to all community members present in the central division, Wainibuku Hart Child Club, Nakorolevu Child Club Warriors of Muana Village, Navokai Child Club of Vunisei Village, Navatuyaba Young Stars Child Club of Navatuyaba Village and the Residential Homes, Homes of Hope & Dilkusha Home. Our partners and stakeholders who joined hands in commemorating this important day were the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Protection, the Asia Foundation, UNICEF Pacific, Medical Services Pacific, Online Safety Commission Homes of Hope Fiji iTaukei Affairs Board, and the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Empower Pacific, Save the Children Fiji values such collaborative efforts which guides us in our mission towards protecting and empowering children.
Save the Children Fiji also wishes to acknowledge stakeholders and partners present at the Western division celebrations, the Ministry of Education, the Online Safety Commission, The Fiji Red Cross Society, The Cyber Crime Unit, the Department of Social Welfare, and the National Fire Authority. Booths were organized for stakeholders to showcase their IEC materials and to enlighten students about their roles.
The Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Day holds immense significance as it underscores the urgency of safeguarding the safety and well-being of children. Together, let’s continue to work towards a world where every child is cherished, protected, and given the opportunity to reach their full potential. Save the Children Fiji is committed to fostering a society where the rights of children are upheld, and their voices are heard.
The Collective Action to End Violence against Children (CAEVAC) Project is funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and supported by Save the Children New Zealand, while the I Am Digital Online Safety Campaign is funded by META, implemented by Save the Children Fiji in partnership with the Ministry of Education.
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For more information contact us on +(679) 3313178 or Info.Fiji@savethechildren.org