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Power Of Miracle Brings New Hope For Kotobalavu

Power Of Miracle Brings New Hope For Kotobalavu
Sekonaia Kotobalavu 36 (left) with his father, Isireli Niu 67 at their Wailea squatter settlment home on October 05, 2017. Photo: Ronald Kumar.
October 06
10:44 2017

For 16 years Sekonaia Kotobalavu has been hoping for a miracle to happen.

One is for his spinal injury to heal and he would regain his motor skills.

The second is to have a good home to live in.

The miracle has arrived. His spinal injury has not healed but he is going to have a new home – thanks to the Viti Spinal Injuries Association and the Republic of Fiji Military Force engineers. They are building his new home at Kalabu, between Suva and Nausori. The Viti Spinal Injuries Association of Fiji is a non-profit charity organization committed to primarily improving the quality of life for people affected by spinal injuries and the physically challenged.

The Commanding Officer (CO) RFMF Engineers, Lieutenant-Colonel Semi Mocelutu said the new $24,000 home would be completed within 30 days.

“This is part of our community project,” he said.

The Fiji Sun visited the new home at Kalabu yesterday.

The workers said that Mr Kotobalavu lived at the Wailea squatter settlement.

At the settlement Mr Kotobalavu received the good news.

The Viti Spinal Injuries Association was funding his new home.

Its president, Paul McGoon, said Mr Kotobalavu applied for help in 2015.

This year they had the fund from various fundraising they organised for their 2016 and 2017 projects.

“We organised a big fundraising at the Grand Pacific Hotel this year and was successful,” he said.

He said they decided to build Mr Kotobalavu’s house and approached the RFMF to help in the construction.

Mr Kotobalavu injured himself in Dogotuki, Macuata in January 2002

He was visiting an aunt in Dogotuki to spend Christmas and New Year with her family.

In January he went for a swim with his friends and was getting out of the river when he slipped, fell into the river and his head hit a big stone.

“A friend mine dragged me out and after they revived me, I could not move my body,” he said.

By then he said he was a Form 6 student at Labasa Sangam.

His father, Isireli Niu, was a Fisheries Officer in Labasa.

When his father retired they lived in Labasa for a while then moved to Suva.

Mr Kotobalavu said most of his families did not accept them because of his injury.

He organized some activities with youths where he lived before they finally moved to the Wailea squatter settlement.

At Wailea he again formed the Veiyasana Youth Group.

They cleaned the settlement on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Mr Kotobalavu said he was also getting help from Alisha Marvina who now resides in Otago, New Zealand.

“The Vanuabalavu woman sends money for my transport and communication,” he said.

When he received the good news from Viti Spinal Injuries Association, he traditionally asked for a piece of land from the chief of Kalabu. Mr Niu praised his son for all the work he had been doing.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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