Sunday, April 6, 2008


FOR Gavidi Turuva, giving children from broken homes another chance at life is a satisfaction she gets to go home with everyday.
In her view, all children are unique and precious gifts.
She feels today's community is missing out on many issues concerning children.
"We are missing out a lot on children's issues which we think is very small especially in the community," she said.
"It's every parent's duty to take care of their children."
The 50-year-old counsellor said sharing her experiences with children who come from such backgrounds "helps both sides find solutions that will work in the child's favour".
She started doing counselling by helping out in the community as a young girl growing up in Ba.
"I started in this career path because I love working with children," she said.
"I was brought up in a very big family. My interest in working with children goes back to when I was in school at Saint Theresa's, which at that time was run by the nuns in Ba. After completing primary education I went on to Xavier College before trying to find my footing in my career path.
"What really made me more determined to look after and care for these children is that I had been adopted myself. I am able to share my views and experiences with these children."
Gavidi hails from Tavuki, Kadavu, and has been married since 1979. She has three grown children whom she is very proud.
"I have been doing community work with the Soqosoqo Vakamarama for the past 10 years," she said.
She said the National Council of Women opened a counselling office but the military takeover of December 5, 2006, closed it.
In stepped the Soqosoqo Vakamarama Saunaka branch, which took over with the blessings of the Taukei Naua, Ratu Ponijese Lou.
"When I joined the National Council for Women, I underwent courses with the Fiji Nursing Association and with our counterparts from Australia known as Child-Wise from Victoria State in Australia.
"The course was from 2001 to 2005. The workshop focused on health issues and was one way we are trained to find out how we can combat crime, sexual abuse, HIV/AIDS and marriage breakdowns."
Gavidi said parents had to do their homework from the very beginning. She said it was an enormous task to educate children on what married life would be like and that she found the biggest abuse in the community was neglect.
"For many, it's as long as you can see a child walking we send them to the shop on errands.
"I believe if we all do our homework and pay more attention to our children, we will be crime-free, no diseases."

Adapted from Fijitimes Online