Counselling and awareness raising are provided to pregnant women, expectant fathers and others in Empower Pacific’s counselling rooms located in major hospitals. The counselors are able to detect early signs of Sexual and Gender Balance Violence and child abuse. (Photo: UNDP/Tomoko Kashiwazaki)

When Monika saw her child fall sick, but nothing was found to be medically wrong, she realized that her illness was probably caused by deeper psychosocial issues which involved the way she and her husband communicated, often escalating into quarrels and fights in front of their children.  

A counsellor who saw the child in the hospital was able to detect the possible cause of child’s sickness and talked to Monika, the mother.

“Monika” (not her real name) was one of many who received support services from the professionally trained staff of Empower Pacific, a Civil Society Organization (CSO) that directly supports people to cope with the challenges of life and achieve their potential.

“I felt good when I was able to control my emotions and respond to my husband and children in a positive mood. I can see the positive impact on my husband too,” said Monika.  

Following two counselling sessions, Monika became confident in her abilities to improve her family’s relationship.

The critical services provided by Empower Pacific are supported in part by the grants for justice support services provided under the Fiji Access to Justice Project, funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme. The Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation and Medical Services Pacific also received grants under this project.  

Empower Pacific Chief Executive Officer, Mr Patrick Morgam said, “The grant allows us to strengthen our counselling, social work and psychosocial support referrals and services in the areas of Sexual and Gender Balance Violence (SGBV), and child protection.”

The EU funded Fiji Access to Justice Project supports the empowerment of impoverished and vulnerable groups in Fiji to access their legal rights and services and strengthens key justice institutions to deliver improved services.

The grants for justice support services aim to increase knowledge on access to justice and human rights, identify and discuss key human rights challenges, and establish and promote a robust platform for engagement between government justice institutions, Legal Aid Commission, Human Rights and Anti-discrimination Commission, and CSOs.

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