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Girl, 12, Cares For Stroke Victim Grandmother, 65

Girl, 12, Cares For Stroke Victim Grandmother, 65
Sera Vosailagi with her grandmother Salaseini Tivi. Photo: Charles Chambers
September 05
11:00 2017


Twelve-year-old Sera Vosailagi had just finished slicing up the breadfruit for Sunday lunch. She was ready to sit next to the pot which she had just placed back on the kerosene stove.

Looking on, teary eyed, her 65-year-old Salaseini Tivi who wished she could be the one serving her granddaughter; except that she was powerless after she suffered a stroke.

Sera, who should be doing what other adolescents take for granted has shunned the enjoyment of mobile phones and the Internet and has put caring for her grandmother as her top priority.


Why she is doing it

Fate has not been good to her as Mrs Tivi’s husband, Isaia Nadule died some years ago.

Four years ago Mrs Tivi suffered a stroke which has since restricted her mobility.

Sera’s mum, Ivamere, died in 2015 and her father has since left her and her sister, Sala, 19, who is now studying at the University of the South Pacific in Suva.

Since her mother died, Sera was left with caring for her grandmother, which she said she would not trade for anything in the world.

“I love looking after bubu and even though I know I miss out on playing with my friends, it’s okay because I love her,” Sera said.

The Fiji Sun decided to do this story and make a plea on their behalf as they continue to eke out a life at their home in Narokorokoyawa Village in Sabeto, Nadi.

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa said she would be sending a team to see what more help could be done besides the social welfare benefits they receive monthly.

“I want to find out why only this child is looking after her grandmother and what could be done,” she said.

Ms Vuniwaqa said she will have to find out everything and then probably include non government organisations or other Government agencies to provide aid for them.

“I want to help,” she said after hearing her story.

Perhaps one area one could look at and the one that pains Sera so much is watching her grandmother cry when they run out of diapers.

“That is the worst thing, looking at my grandmother crying,” Sera said, her beautiful and genuine smile; probably shielding the hardships they face.

They receive help from Social Welfare each month which is a $50 food voucher and $50 cash.

“It is hard for us because when I buy bubu’s diaper, half of the cash is gone.”


Time table

Sera’s day begins at 6am, where she wakes up, makes breakfast for the two of them, then cleans the home.

She then bathes her grandmother and changes her before cooking both their lunches and then heads off to Sabeto District School.

“Sometimes I arrive late to school but the teachers don’t get angry because they know I am looking after bubu,” she said.

After school, she returns home, bathes her grandmother again and cooks dinner ready.

Ask what food she cooks, Sera admitted that she could not cook and preparing food meant boiling cassava or breadfruit and preparing noodles or something simple. Making stew or curry or anything else was out of the question.

Then she becomes her normal self and spends a bit of time playing with children her age before coming home before dark.

This is the normal routine for the young, yet strong shouldered Sera.

Mrs Vuniwaqa’s intervention could perhaps bring some good changes for both their lives.

Mrs Tivi said she had no words to describe her granddaughter.

“She is a remarkable person and I love her so much,” she said with tears in her eyes.

“The villages here are good as people bring food for us and when we are out of money and food, Sera has to go around asking for help to buy something for us to be able to eat.”

Mrs Tivi said she had no words to describe her granddaughter.

“She is a remarkable person and love her so much,” she said with tears in her eyes.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika



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