Lautoka community takes care of elderly

Community spirit is building up in Lautoka with neighbours looking out for each other as the city goes into Day 5 of its lockdown to contain COVID-19.

The Lautoka Ratepayers Association (LRA) and Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development (FRIEND) announced on the weekend they would offer help to senior citizens of the city.

According to the World Health Organisation, older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable.

“We would like to emphasize that we are targeting the elderly and the most vulnerable of our Lautoka community, including our street people,” the group said via a facebook post on Sunday.

“Food rations are for people living in the #Lautokalockdown area, for those who have difficulty in purchase of medication/ food (squatters/ peri-urban areas), the elderly, disabled, have been on casual employment and are impacted by #Lautokalockdown, you can contact us.”

FRIEND founder Sashi Kiran said the public funded service became operational on the weekend as 10 volunteers were trained on prevention practices.

“Every care will be taken not to have contact and all precautions will be taken to avoid the spread of the virus,” Kiran said.

“If you have surplus please assist those in need in your area. We welcome donations to support food and medication needs in the area.”

While the LRA and FRIEND partnership teams will provide food rations for those they’ve assessed to be in urgent need, they have also mobilised volunteer teams to shop on behalf of those who need it.

“If you are ill, elderly, compromised in any way and need us to help you purchase your medications or do shopping for you, you can let us know and we will organise volunteers to reach out to you. For people living outside Lautoka/abroad whose family members may need assistance and wish to contact us to do delivery of food or medication- you can call phone number 8983187.”

While the food rations include $100 worth of packaged food and medication, volunteers are also on hand to run errands for the elderly.

In addition, the LRA said it would lobby for concessions at relevant authorities for water, electricity and rent payments.

“This assistance will be operational for the next two weeks depending on funds sufficiency and end once the government announces assistance packages.”

Enquiries can be made to Tel: 8983187, 8983186 or email or
Support can be sent to ANZ Bank Account Name: FRIEND and Account Number 6125208
Overseas donors can use the following additional information: Address: ANZ House, 25 Victoria Parade, Suva, Fiji. Swiftcode: ANZBFJFX. BSB Number: 010890.

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