| || || Matadradra-Dolavale, Anawaite Vuevata|
| || || Child poverty and well-being : a case study of Namara squatter settlement, Labasa, Vanua Levu, Fiji islands |
Author:Matadradra-Dolavale, Anawaite Vuevata
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: Poor children -- Fiji -- Labasa -- Case studies, Child welfare -- Fiji -- Labasa -- Case studies, Children -- Fiji -- Labasa -- Case studies
Call No.: pac HV 803 .F5 M38 2013
Copyright:Under 10% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: The number of Pacific children being affected by escalating socioeconomic problems is rising. In Fiji, as elsewhere, these problems include increasing inequalities, growing relative and absolute poverty, deteriorating environments and the impact of civil or political unrest. The growth in squatter settlements has been labeled alarming as people establish informal homes near urban areas where there are better services and opportunities. As a result, growing issue of poverty and hardship are entrenched. Access to cash income is not the only measure of poverty: people may be poor in cash, but rich in land or poor in access to education but rich in life experience. The links between poverty, poor living conditions and ill health are most evident with children though they are still rarely mentioned in social research. In Fiji, children in poor households are vulnerable to many forms of deprivation and often must go without necessities such as food, school fees, medical care and adequate accommodation. This research sought to study the effects of poverty on children’s welfare and well-being in Namara squatter settlement near Labasa in Vanua Levu. Vanua Levu (referred to as the “North”) in a broader sense is an overlooked part of the Fiji economy (until recently) in terms of policies of economic development and growth. A number of important earlier studies of poverty in Fiji have been carried out but this research focuses specifically on poverty and welfare of children in squatter settlements, a neglected topic in academic research on poverty in Fiji. This research identifies the social and emotional environment in which children are raised, the housing quality and living conditions, physical health, food and nutrition, family support, physical infrastructure, stereotypes of children, and challenges encountered among urban neighbours, school and work. Research done on children, which correlates with health, income, education and other indicators, will help in assessing the extent not only of child poverty but also of child welfare. In finding out more about child poverty in Fiji the research hopes to explore ways for the betterment of living conditions for children. It also hopes to contribute to discussions to help lift children in Fiji out of a life of poverty due to social, economic and political conditions, with the hope of breaking the cycle of inter-generational poverty. It seeks to raise awareness of child poverty among political and economic decision makers and advocate for policy changes.