LEAVING NO ONE BEHIND AND REACHING THE FURTHEST BEHIND FIRST

The innovative REACH mobile service delivery platform is inclusive and stands by Government’s commitment to improve public service delivery for all Fijians, and it is through this platform as well that it delivers information and related services based on the social, economic and legal rights as enshrined in the Fijian Constitution.

This was highlighted by the Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Veena Bhatnagar while commissioning the Western Division REACH mission in Caulasi settlement, Rakiraki recently.

Hon. Bhatnagar says the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation through the REACH programme is driven to engage closely with the community members, providing a One Stop Shop service delivery for all Fijians.

“The service delivery includes stakeholders from both Government and Non-Government Organisations such as Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Fiji Police Force and the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission from the Civil Society Organisations and Medical Services Pacific, Empower Pacific and the Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation.”

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Hon. Bhatnagar said that the collaboration is very critical as it targets the most vulnerable community members, providing equal access to justice and the empowerment of information to bridge information gap.

“All of the different aspects of service delivery cannot be functional without the support of the Government, Civil Society Organisation and the Non-Governmental Organisation and all of which align its work to the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) – Leaving No One Behind and Reaching the Furthest behind first,” Hon. Bhatnager said.

“Providing equitable access to justice for persons with disabilities, access to quality health care services, social protection and the empowerment of information for vulnerable groups especially older persons, women and children are all embedded under the REACH platform to create a Stronger and Well Informed Community” she added.

Hon. Bhatnagar also elaborated that REACH has revamped its platform to limit exposure and establish compulsory hygiene in the communities so that it is line with the strict protocols for COVID-19.

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“The team is small and the setup is planned around the REACH bus and execution is fully in line with the physical distancing guidelines which determine the actual set up on the ground,” Hon. Bhatnagar said.

“The organisation on the ground will include the REACH bus as base, multiple service tables with canopy tents properly spaced, multiple hand washing stations, and designated service delivery areas where beneficiaries will use for service delivery.”

Advisory Councillor Colasi Settlement, 66 year old Ms. Nila Rao, said that there is a total population of 569 people residing in Colasi Settlement. Ms. Rao thanked the Fijian Government and the REACH Team for visiting and bringing the services to the people in her area.

A bed ridden community member of Caulasi, 40 year old Mrs Latika Wati was visited by a mobile team comprising of the Medical Services Pacific and the Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation (FDPF). Mrs. Wati received a medical checkup, measurements of mobile assistive devices and information of the services by FDPF.

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Mrs Wati also said that she cannot travel to the hospital frequently and she acknowledged Hon. Bhatnagar and the team for visiting her at her residence.

Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation representative, Mr Peniasi Rawaidranu said that his team had capitalised their participation in REACH to promote awareness on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and also registration of new members during the three weeks mission in the West. He said that the team has been with the REACH Team for the past few months and it has assisted them with reaching out to their members.

REACH has managed to reach out to 6799 people [3289 Women, 2057 Men and 1453 Children] and delivered 24,843 services to [15,447 women and 9396 men) during the period of 12th May to the 25th of September this year.