NVF reveals Fiji's disability challenges

March 14, 2024 6:25 am

[File Photo]

New Vision Fiji, a non-governmental organization supported by Canadian funding, has made significant strides in improving the lives of over 2000 individuals with disabilities across Fiji.

Their recent database project from October to December last year identified and registered those needing assistance, shedding light on pressing issues faced by Fijians with disabilities.

Challenges ranging from water scarcity to healthcare and accessibility issues have been identified, affecting not only persons with disabilities but also children, who often find themselves excluded from mainstream education due to their disabilities.

Article continues after advertisement

New Vision Fiji Executive Officer Rajnel Prasad highlights the central challenge the disability community is facing.

One of the major challenges they are currently facing are the washroom facilities. We have come across a lot of people whose washroom facilities are a few meters away from their home, where they have to tie a rope from one door to another to visit the washroom, This is particularly true for people with vision impairments or elderly people.”

Prasad says that the Canadian government’s support has enabled the organization to initiate various projects to improve the lives of those with special needs.

“Now for that geographical location or geographical areas of numbers, on the percentage wise, we have received from Ovalau 17.8 percent, Cakaudrove 11.3 percent, Macuata 5.2 percent, Bua 20.2 percent, Central Division 10.2 percent, Ra Division we have 21.4 percent, Ba 2.7 percent, Nadi 4.8 percent, and in the Sigatoka area we have registered 6.3 percent of people with disabilities.”

Political and Public Affairs Officer Arnaud Eyssautier, representing the Government of Canada, commended the NGO’s efforts in addressing disability issues and highlighted Canada’s commitment to community development in Fiji.

“In Fiji, this project has contributed nearly $2.5 million to 39 developing projects since 2012, so congratulations to New Vision Fiji for completing this project.”

New Vision Fiji remains dedicated to extending its services to the maritime regions, ensuring that no community is left behind in their mission to empower disabled individuals and promote inclusivity.