The shifting away from nuclear family to dependency on global influences was not helping families and communities today, says UNFPA Representative and Director Dirk Jena.
“I am witnessing a global development agenda that continues to unravel the nuclear family by shifting attention to the rights of indivuduals,” Mr Jena said.
Mr Jena was speaking at the opening of the three-day National Conference on Social Development hosted by the Fiji Council of Social Services at the Pacific Theological College in Suva this morning attended by over 60 participants from all over the country.
The theme of the conference is on Building the CSO and Community Capacity in Nurturing the Families of Fiji and the conference has been organised by FCOSS for the past 20 years.
Mr Jena said whether it was intentional or not it leaves the individuals more susceptible to the never retrieving exposure to the mass as well as so called social media.
“(Which) helps tremendously in the moulding all of us into willing or needing consumers of products turned out by global conglomerates,” he said.
It went without saying that such individualisation and expanded exposure affects our resilience and turns self reliance into dependency, including a dependency on markets where the goods are and will be subject to speculation and real or man-made scarcities, he said.
He said the concept of intergrated household resource management (IHRM) through which families could re-configure or re-integrate fragments of daily household realities and contribute to a high quality of life without sacrificing ‘positive’ cultural practices.
He said IHRM could be improved by dividing the resources into four sectors which were physical resources, social, economic and community-based resources.
FCOSS Executive Director Hassan Khan said the three day meeting would be beneficial for participants only if they went back and ran workshops in their local settings after the conference.
The conference will close on Saturday.