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Opetaia’s Hard Work Bears Fruit

Opetaia’s Hard Work Bears Fruit
Laauto Opetaiai, with her old baby Miriama Talei and her graduation certificate yesterday. Photo: Maraia Vula
June 20
16:36 2015

Though she operates a small- scale fish selling business in Labasa, Laauto Opetaia never thought that one day she be working with a formal certificate.

Having originally come from Kioa Island, the 40-year-old never received any formal education after high school. But now, along with 22 other graduates of the Labasa Multi-cultural Centre, she has managed to change that fact.

“Back in the old days the mentality was – once you leave school that’s it, you can stay at home and do whatever you want – but now I realise that life has much more to offer,” she said.

Ms Opetaia attended the sewing, textile and handicraft workshop at the centre, funded by the Australian High Commission in Fiji’s direct aid programme.

“I was two months pregnant with my youngest child when I enrolled into this sewing programme and I never looked back even though I had been operating a small business to support my family.

“After attending this workshop I will buy a sewing machine and operate a small sewing business to put into practice what I have learned.”

The centre, under the National Heritage, Culture and Arts, preserves all culture and promotes multiculturalism in terms of bridging the gaps and working together.

The graduates learned five skills in technical, production processes, designing, merchandising and had been working with trainers since October last year. They graduated yesterday.

She said her husband and six children moved from Kioa Island in search of a better life and education. They now live at Line Point in Batinikama, Labasa.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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