New Zealand High Commission Suva, Fiji

Home prepares for natural disasters

Ginny Chapman with the Children during her visit to the Home

To further enhance and improve the quality of life for children in the Dilkusha Children’s Home, the New Zealand High Commission recently donated two water tanks as a disaster relief resource to the Home.

Administration Officer, Alisi Koroi said the new resource is useful not only for the immediate needs of the Home but also for its strategic needs.

“More importantly, these needs become even more evident and critical during times of disaster,” said Ms Koroi.

Over the last few years it has been recognised that the Dilkusha Home should be better prepared for such situations, incorporating appropriate disaster relief plans and the required resources.

The objective of the project is to be better prepared for natural disasters by ensuring that essential water is available for the basic survival of the young residents of the Home.

Dilkusha Children’s Home has a total of 13 staff and 30 children, including 5 girls with special needs due to disabilities.

Ms Koroi said that after hurricane Tomas the greater Nausori Township went without water and electricity for two weeks which had a detrimental impact on the children’s health and well being.

The majority of the residents at the Home are women and children, resulting in a higher than normal demand for water since children have a greater need for safe drinking water.

The children at the Home are some of the most disadvantaged children in Fiji and include victims of abuse within the family; impoverished children; those requiring special assistance in education; and intellectually and physically disabled children who have been abandoned by their families.

As a result these children are declared as wards of the State to the Department of Social Welfare and subsequently released to the Dilkusha Home.

Direct assistance in the form of new water tanks has given these children an opportunity to cope better during times of natural disaster.

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