Single mum stays positive despite COVID-19 pandemic

One of those days ... Mariana Uluitoga. Picture: SUPPLIED

Life ever since COVID-19 unleashed its deadly outbreak worldwide, is scary.

While people living in developed nations with huge economies are reassured of government relief programs, those in countries like Fiji are being forced to be creative to survive.

The advantage Pacific people have is the fact that they have always been resilient.

Eking out a daily living from scant resources in the midst of very challenging times is nothing new.

Mariana Uluitoga’s story is a classic example of this.

The Nasele, Naitasiri, lass enrolled at the Fiji National Training Council in the late ’90s after leaving Waidina Secondary School.

After graduating, she began work at the then Tradewinds Hotel in Lami.

She met her husband in 2000 at a rugby match, but a few years into their marriage, he developed bone cancer.

“Life wasn’t easy, I had to work and at the same time nurse him when I returned home every afternoon,” the 41-year-old said.

“I left the Tradewinds and moved to Lyndhurst Industries from 2001 to 2013.

“I had to provide for my son’s education, take care of my husband and go to work – it was a real struggle and we made it until my husband passed away in February 2019.

“When my husband passed away, I was working at Scanlan Theodore, a design and garment business in Suva, and I thank my workmates and friends for the support they provided me at that time.”

Ms Uluitoga and her son moved to a Housing Assistance Relief Trust (HART) home in Wainibuku.

“My boy is following in his father’s footsteps but while his dad used to play rugby union for Tailevu, my son plays rugby league for the Makoi Bulldogs.”

In search of a better life, she moved to Nadi and began working at the Wailoaloa Hotel late last year. Everything was going well and then COVID-19 struck.

“During the Lautoka COVID-19 lockdown, I lost my job.

“Things have not gotten any better, I’m still unemployed and looking for a job.

“I am praying that God will provide me with another opportunity soon so that I can take care of my son.

“I have not and will not give up even though I have lost my husband and my job. “I have not lost hope and that’s the most important thing in life.”

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