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Year 5 International School Student’s Visit to Bayly Welfare & Education

On 18th of August 2011, 13 Year Five students of International School Suva accompanied by two parents paid a visit to Bayly Welfare & Education Centre. The group was welcomed by the Senior Almoner Michael Chandra and the Education Officer Manorma Chandra and they were shown what it is that Bayly Welfare/Education is all about.

These inquisitive students learned about the charitable activities, the number of families and children that are assisted by the Centre and the role of staff within the organization and the associated challenges that comes from handling so many families.

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Solace in helping others

BEING part of a Trust that helps provide for the less fortunate is a privilege for 29-year-old Nilkant Lal, the accountant manager for the JP Bayly Trust in Suva who believes his role is not confined to just balancing financials for the organisation.

"I am proud to be associated with the Trust in its efforts to make life comfortable for the less fortunate families in Fiji. At the end of the day, it's self-satisfaction that I have contributed towards the betterment of our nation," he said. Of course he would know the kind of hardships faced by those just managing to get by having grown up in a farming community in Rakiraki. The youngest of four siblings, Nilkant says despite the hardships then, his parents worked hard to ensure none of them went to bed on an empty stomach.

"I am from an average family and we lived a very simple village lifestyle. We had a small-scale sugar cane farm; cane proceeds were nearly break-even. I am very proud of my parents because they made sure our needs were met," he said.

"Growing up as the youngest, I wasn't spoilt although I sometimes enjoyed the special attention of being the baby of the family." As time went by, Nilkant learnt the only luxury that could make him happy was helping an organisation reach its goals to provide assistance to 650 less fortunate families in the form of subsistence food rations, clothing, medical help and education.

A proud scholar of Ellington Primary and Penang Sangam High School, Nilkant graduated with a Diploma in Business (Accounting) from the Fiji Institute of Technology in 2003. He recently completed his studies for a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Economics) degree from the Fiji National University and will graduate later in December.

"My role as an accountant and manager is handling all day-to-day affairs of the JP Bayly Trust. This includes financial assets and investment portfolio, human resources, building and property management and other administrative services," he said after joining the Trust as an accountant in June 2005. He was later promoted to his present position two years later.

While Nilkant remains content about doing his bit for the community, he continues to encourage donor agencies, corporate and the general public to observe the transparent charitable activities of the Trust that fight poverty and increase literacy. Source: Fiji Times Friday 19th August 2011

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A Little Extra goes a long way

The Bayly Education Suva took advantage of the first term school holidays by providing counselling to the children on its register.  The children openly discussed their problems and difficulties with the Education Officer, Manorma Chandra, lightening the discussions with a little light hearted humour and the Senior Almoner, Michael Chandra, providing some reassurance.  Some of the exam results were excellent whilst others were below average. We can not scold the children for not having performed well academically, but rather to encourage them to give it their best. A common saying “All fingers on our hands aren’t the same size”, likewise everyone can not become doctors, lawyers and other professionals.  Not all children have the same ability to perform to our expectations.

Sometimes we  are a little lost when we see  the children’s  school results  or  the condition of theirs school sandals when they come to ask for  a  second pair, but  we always remind ourselves of the miles they have to walk to school  whether it is raining, or the sun is hot . Nevertheless,  we tell them again and again to take care of their belongings  and to remember that items lost or damaged are difficult to replace and the motto of the Education officer is to try  their best not to send a child  away  empty handed.

With a smile on our face and love in our hearts we can win the small hearts of our dear children and remind them that a sound education is the foundation for their future. 

 By: Manorma Chandra  

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Counseling by Juvenile Policing Bureau - Lautoka

We were privileged to have Sergeant Arieta Namuaira of the Juvenile Policing Bureau to counsel the children, parents and guardians on truancy and the importance that our peers play in the upbringing of children and to be vigilant in their care during the first term school holidays.

A common observation is that the majority of adults present were female guardians or mothers mainly in part due to the fact that some fathers are non existent in the lives of their children - A sad reality.

New to the discussion was raising the awareness on the “Safety-Net Programme” recently introduced into schools by the Police and is an attempt providing greater protection of children.

A number of the older children had heard about this programme and it was interesting to witness their participation in questions asked by Sergeant Arieta. We were happy to note that they knew all the right answers and had been listening at their respective schools when the officers visited. Issues discussed were mostly about the rise in sexual offenses, glue sniffing, peer pressure etc.

Sergeant Arieta made it clear that quality time spent with the children did indeed reap benefits and constant interest in school activities and homework was a good holiday exercise for families.  Failure to participate in this aided in the decline of student performance.

 The theory of “Monkey see Monkey do” was made only too clear in many cases, where the children learnt bad habits from adults namely their parents and/or guardians.

 After hearing many stories we realized that the majority of students really don’t believe that the act of taking something without asking is in fact STEALING.

 We try to make this clear to them in counseling but it’s going to take a lot more hard work. The attitude towards matters like these is too relaxed. Young ones been left unattended during school breaks was one of the major topics as it seemed like this was where trouble began to brew.

 In all matters - one thing remains clear….Idle minds and Idle hands make for the Devils playground- which leaves one solution- we must get the children motivated in other areas such as gardening which is the best place to start….Being able to nurture something and watch it grow provides fulfillment.

 All in all, it was an excellent day and we’re amazed at the rate at which children grow and we have faith that they will grow in wisdom also.

 Compiled by:

Mrs Michael, Radhika & Tracey

Bayly Welfare -Lautoka

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Mr. Richard Naidu to lead Bayly Welfare/Education Suva

Richard Naidu is a partner with Munro Leys in Suva. He was recently appointed as the Chairperson of Bayly Welfare & Education Suva Committee.

On his appointment he said that “I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to chair the Suva Welfare Committee. It is quite inspiring to work with people who have, for many years, been committed to improve the lives of the less fortunate. I have a lot to learn from the Trust, its staff and its stakeholders about some of the most important issues in our community. Thousands of people have lived better lives because of the assistance that the Trust has given them over more than 50 years”.

Mr. Naidu replaces Mr. Jed Peterson.  Mr. Peterson was the Deputy Chairman/Committee member for Bayly Welfare & Education Lautoka Committee for 18 years and Chairman for Bayly Welfare & Education Suva from May 2010 to May 2011.

The Suva Bayly Welfare & Education Committee comprises of: Shanta Lakhan as Deputy Chairperson, Marie Lee as Secretary and Nilkant Lal as Treasurer. Committee members are Jed Peterson, Asina Sahu Khan, Susan Knynenburg, Delywn Jenkins with Senior Almoner Michael Chandra as ex-officio.

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