Feature

Isimeli A Step Closer To Dream

He is currently serving a seven years and 11 months prison sentence.
22 Jul 2020 13:55
Isimeli A Step Closer To Dream
Fiji Corrections Service Automotive Mechanical Level 1 certificate graduates (from left) Isimeli Tiko Baleirotuma, Opeti Korodrau and Samuela Mocevakanananu at the Nasinu Corrections Service centre on July 21, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar

For as long as Isimeli Baleirotuma can remember, his aspiration has always been to be a mechanic.

In 2014, his father passed away, which really affected him as the only child. Two years later, life took another bitter turn when he was imprisoned for aggravated robbery.

He is currently serving a seven years and 11 months prison sentence.

Yesterday, Mr Baleirotuma took a step closer to his dream of becoming a mechanic when he graduated from the Nasinu Vocational Training Centre with a Level 1 Certificate in Automotive Mechanic.

He thanked the Commissioner of Fiji Corrections Service, Commander Francis Kean, for the chance to upskill himself.

“Before I was incarcerated, I was a farmer and night diver, but when I was a child, I always wanted to be a mechanic,” he said.

“I was thankful that when I came in 2016, through this rehabilitation scheme, I was introduced to this course. For me, I am one step closer to achieving my goal and I thank the institution for it.”

With the help of his mother, who is in American Samoa, and his defacto partner, Asenaca Bai, 50, Mr Baleirotuma looks forward to starting his own car servicing and tyre centre business.

Meanwhile, another graduate Samuela Vakanananu, 22, who will be released from prison in 2022, said the two-and-half-year course was a blessing.

“Coming to prison has really changed my life for the better and I plan to continue my education when I am released.”

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

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