10 June, 2023, 9:40 am Central - 23°C Clouds

Champion for people living with disabilities passes away

Champion for people living with disabilities passes away

By Vijay Narayan
Tuesday 21/03/2023
The late Executive Director of the Spinal Injuries Association and Champion for persons living with disabilities, Joshko Wakaniyasi

One of the biggest champions for people living with disabilities, Joshko Wakaniyasi has passed away.

Joshko was the Executive Director of the Spinal Injuries Association and was very active in the wider disability sector.

He was on the steering committee of the United Nations Volunteers, a council member of Fiji National Council of Disabled Persons, a board member of Fiji Council of Social Services and a working group member of the Sustainable Goals Development Fund.

In 2007 he joined the disability sector, focusing on improving the lives of people living with spinal injury and physical impairment, and became interim President of the Spinal Injuries Association. In 2008 he became permanent President until 2012, when he took on the role of Executive Director. Under Joshko's management, the Association developed and implemented a number of key programs; including the Mobility Device Service, the Urinary Management Program, the IDEA (Include Disability Employ This Ability) Program, SIA Women and SIA Youth.

Joshko's efforts have been recognised by several major organisations - he was Vodafone Foundation Fiji's longest serving 'World of Difference' candidate, working on key 'Physically Challenged Enabling Project' activities; and is the recipient of the 2013 'South Pacific Community Regional Rights Resource Team Human Rights Award' "for co-developing and designing the IDEA Program.

In 2016 he was also given the Rotary Suva 'Paul Harris Fellow Award' for "service above self."

His funeral details will be announced later.



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