Spending time with the family should be the main priority for a father and mother said Samisoni Ledua during the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation awareness programme on Child Abuse and Child Neglect at the Kalabu Village Hall on Tuesday 15th, November, 2017.
A former street kid and drug seller, Mr Ledua is now married with five girls and a son, Mr Ledua, was part of 60 plus participants at the community awareness outreach themed "Stronger Families, Safer Children" which is aimed at creating awareness concerning child abuse and child neglect.
"Eight years ago, I changed my lifestyle and did away with drugs and started to turn to religion in the hopes of making my life and that of my family better," he said.
"It was during this time that I would often beat my children when they stepped out of line."
Mr Ledua said it was only after he decided one day to try a different approach.
"I saw that beating my daughters was not good, they did not respond, they would be withdrawn and not talk to me.
"Then I started reading the bible and decided to talk to my children instead of beating them."
"I found that it had a different effect on my children," he said.
Mr Ledua said his children became more responsive to him and his wife.
"They were more obedient and became more concerned about what was happening in the family," he said.
"I realised that by beating them I was just making them strong willed but when I engaged them in talking they opened up."
Mr Ledua said he was happy that such awareness and outreach programmes were made available to communities such as Kalabu.
"One thing that I have learnt from this awareness programme is how important it is to spend more time with family and also protecting our environment.
"But we also learned about making safe choices in food and the consequences of taking drugs and such which is useful for our community to know," Mr Ledua said.
He said unnecessary grog sessions often took father and mother away from their responsibilities to their families which is why he gave up grog eight years ago.
The Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Social Welfare Officers, Education Ministry's National Substance Abuse Advisory Council counselors, Police Officers and FASANOC Voices of the Athlete Champions began a one week awareness programme that ends this Saturday.
NSAAC counselors and FASANOC VOA Champions advocated on a variety of subjects including Child Protection, Environment, Non-Communicable Diseases, Drug Free Lifestyle and HIV/AIDS.
Participants were divided into groups and were given ten minutes at various stations that advocated or created awareness on different topics.
The awareness programme continues throughout the week and will cover Kalabu, Nadera, Caubati and Narere and finishes with a Family Sports Day at the Narere Grounds next to the Narere Police Post.
Last Modified on 15/11/2017 10:44