Girl gives up her dream for siblings

Salanieta Volavola cooks a meal at Bilo Rd outside Lami. Picture: JONA KONATACI.

After her mother abandoned her family and her father was handed a 10-year jail term, Salanieta Volavola gave up on her dream of becoming a chef. She shared how she gave up school after Year 12 when she and her five siblings came under the care of a relative at Vunivi settlement, Bilo Rd outside Lami.

She took on odd jobs and managed to earn enough to meet her siblings’ basic needs.

The former Dudley High School student said she had planned to pursue studies at the Fiji National University but this had been shelved.

Life, she said, had been an uphill battle ever since their mother remarried and moved on with her new family.

She said she can earn about $120 a week doing jobs and this helped cater for her siblings’ school expenses.

“Au sa vinakata saraga meu vaqara dua na cakacaka meu vukei iratou kina na taciqu gone (I really want to find a job to help my younger siblings),” Salanieta said.

She said her siblings were always her motivation to work hard and her dream to become a prominent chef remained.

For now, Ms Volavola said with their current situation, she had no choice but to make sacrifices to enable her siblings to complete school.

She said for her siblings to have a good future, she had to sacrifice hers.

However, she said if given the opportunity to do both work and study, she would go for it.

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