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Us Social Worker Teaches iTaukei, Preserves Culture

Us Social Worker Teaches  iTaukei, Preserves Culture
From left: Finau Rabuka Conklin, husband Hoku Conklin, Professor Steve Thomsen and Dorie Thomsen in Springville, Utah, United States.
April 07
12:13 2018

American social worker Finau Rabuka Conklin is passionate about her iTaukei roots.

So much so that the 36-year-old grabbed the offer to teach 300 level iTaukei language and culture module at the Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

She has been teaching her class one day a week and has completed six years.

“I love it. I am passionate about the language and culture even though I live here in the United States,’’ Mrs Conklin said.

“Right now I have seven students and most of them are returned missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who served their two-year mission in Fiji,” she said.

“The language course satisfies their general education requirements for a bachelor’s degree.”

Mrs Conklin is part of the Centre for Language Studies. She said BYU “is the number one university in the US in this area, offering 50 languages.

Ms Conklin is the daughter of the late Eliki Rabuka, a former sports editor of the Fiji Times, and a Roko Tui. She was educated at Dudley in Suva before attending International School, Laucala Beach Estate. Then she went to BYU Hawaii and later attended University of Utah where she obtained her Masters degree in social work.

She work full-time as services and compliance manager for Kids on the Move.

She looks after the Utah county programme covering 20 cities. Her work involves low income families.

“We go into homes to educate and empower parents to educate their children get ahead before they turn three.”

Her operation is federally funded.

Mrs Conklin is originally from Drekeniwai, Cakaudrove, in Vanua Levu. Her husband, Hoku Conklin, is an assistant professor in psychology at Brigham Young University at Provo, Utah.

Edited by George Kulamaiwasa


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