Amazing Fijian

Widow Graduates At Age 73

She was believed to be the oldest graduate. She said she was determined to learn new skills because she was unable to get a proper education in her youth.
25 Oct 2020 09:52
Widow Graduates At Age 73
Lila Wati receiving her Certificate of Achievement from Brother Francis Abraham during the Ba Women’s Forum graduation ceremony at Xavier College in Ba on October 24, 2020. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

For many years as a widow, Lila Wati has been doing what little she can to financially support herself.

Now, a 73-year-old mother of nine children, Ms Wati has no plans to give up.

Yesterday, she was among 365 women who successfully received their Certificates of Achievements during the Ba Women’s Forum graduation ceremony at Xavier College in Ba.

Ms Wati managed to attain her certificate in Salusalu Training, Flower Arrangement and Tie Dye.

She was believed to be the oldest graduate. She said she was determined to learn new skills because she was unable to get a proper education in her youth.

“I didn’t get an education so I told my children if they can give me a chance to learn now, it’s never too late,” she said.

“I never worked; the only thing I was committed to doing was being at home and helping out people with garlands, bouquets or any other things. That was how I earned income.”

She said she was grateful to also receive support from her children.

“I feel so happy receiving my certificates,” said Ms Wati.

She added that with her achievements, she would be based at her Wailailai home in Ba and use her skills to earn her income.

The chief guest at the graduation, the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa, thanked the partners who worked alongside the forum.

“I also thank all the partners of the Ba Women’s Forum, the trainers and administrators for your dedication to make this centre a successful avenue for women’s capacity building for economic empowerment,” said Ms Vuniwaqa.

“The Fijian Government has shown its commitment to women’s development by continuing to support such initiatives by our civil society partners, and this political will is reflected best by the fact that, at a time when budgets had to be re-prioritised, funding for such programmes remained a priority for the Government.”

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: nicolette.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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