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Mother Of Two Returns To Studies, Shares Story of Year 13 Success

Mother Of Two Returns To Studies, Shares Story of Year 13 Success
Taletoka Valemei, 24, with her children, Steena Rosi and Mosese Tale . Photo: Ronald Kumar
December 15
14:51 2017

A 24-year-old mother of two has become a beacon of hope to many who may think that it may well be the end of the road in education. But not for Taletoka Valemei.   

Not only did Ms Valemei finish what she couldn’t complete way back in 2012, but five years later she passed her Year 13 examinations. The Nabua Matua Programme student scored 275 out of 400 in the Fiji Year 13 External Examinations.

The advice of the woman from Cawaro, Udu, Macuata is: “To young girls or single mothers out there, we all make mistakes but learn from it, and turn in a direction where you know that you will succeed in future.

“You have to do what is right for yourself, nobody else is walking in your shoes. Life goes on.

“The right decisions are always the hardest to make. But they must be made in order to live the life you deserve.”

As she shared these profound words, she also shared the struggles and challenges she had to go through and her parents, whom she says became a pillar of strength in her most challenging moments.

This is her story.

Beginnings

When Ms Valemei found out she was pregnant, just weeks before her Year 13 external examinations, she panicked.

The year was 2012.

Her boyfriend then, now husband, was still studying at the Fiji National University.

She thought of all the possible things that could happen. What would people and her friends say about her? The ridicule and how she would cope with the child?

She wanted to sit for the Fiji Year 13 Examination but she was thinking about the baby growing inside her.

Then she told her parents.

“I was frightened, shocked and my mind was everywhere the time I knew I was pregnant,” she said.

“It took time for them to accept it since I was the only one left in the family to finish my high school.”

Being the youngest in the family, she said she grew up privileged and was spoiled.

“My parents cried because they never thought it was going to happen to me.

“At first they did not want me to get married, but for me to return to school.

“My parents and my four siblings are working, and I was the only one left. My family always encouraged me to return to school after I give birth to my first child.”

She married Mosese Tale in 2013 when she was nine months pregnant and enjoyed life being a mother to her beautiful daughter Steena Rosi, now four-years-old.

After her wedding

But like all marriages, she faced a lot of ups and downs and they both decided to separate for five months.

In 2015 she worked as a shop assistant to look after her daughter. Her husband returned and they worked on their marriage. And they welcomed their second child Moses Tale Jnr who is now one-year-old.

“Through those difficult times, my parents and siblings kept advising me to return to school when my son turned one.

“I had a thought that whatever my family were advising me was true and in January this year I went to enroll myself at Nabua Matua Programme and was successful.”

She attended evening classes from 5pm-8pm.

“Most of the time when our babysitter did not turn up, I won’t attend my class and I would have to stay home looking after my children.”

Sometimes she walked from school and would reach home late into the night.

She said: “Sometimes when I’m in school I think of my two children.

“Some people gave bad comments about me, but I don’t bother about what they say.

“Sometimes I got negative comments from my husband, but I’m so happy that my parents stood beside me all the time and advised me to sacrifice and focus on my studies because there was something better ahead.”

And she no doubt has. Next year Ms Valemei plans to attend the University of the South Pacific pursuing an undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Arts majoring in History and Geography.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  lusiana.tuimaisala@fijisun.com.fj

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