Harsh reality: Children sell food at night to help parents

A young kid assisting an adult sell food at Lami Town on Friday, January 08, 2021. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

With school just nine days away, children as young as 11 years old brave the night selling pastries and food packs in every nook and corner of Lami area to help their parents buy stationery.

Lami District Council of Social Services president Asaeli Naisoro said most of those children were from the 45 informal settlements in Lami.

For back to school preparations, he said a woman at an informal settlement in Lami had sleepless nights because she only managed to save $50 for her three children.

He said it was times like these that people would go out to survive.

“Children are being sent by their parents to sell food packs and pastries from morning and late at night around town because school will start soon,” Mr Naisoro said.

“You need to come out at night in Lami Town to see the increasing number of children selling pastries, roti and food packs.

“They would crowd every car at the service station trying to sell food packs or hang around outside the supermarket waiting for people to come out.

“It is indeed a very sad scene, but then what choice do they have.”

For some children, he said, their mothers were the sole breadwinners of the family.

“Sun or rain, these children will be out in Lami Town selling pastries and food packs.”

Mr Naisoro acknowledged the help of Adventist Development and Relief Agency Fiji, Citizens’ Constitutional Forum, Save the Children Fiji and Munro Leys that have assisted families and children in Lami.

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