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Valedictorian Says: We Shall Conquer

  Hearing impaired valedictorian Epeli Vualili delivered a moving opening speech in light of the aftermath of the Cyclone Winston during the University of the South Pacific graduation at the
24 Mar 2016 09:00
Valedictorian Says: We Shall Conquer
Epeli Vunibau Vualili graduated with Diploma in Information Technology(Level 5) with his mom Mere Ligani yesterday.Photo:VILIMONI VAGANALAU.

 

Hearing impaired valedictorian Epeli Vualili delivered a moving opening speech in light of the aftermath of the Cyclone Winston during the University of the South Pacific graduation at the Vodafone  Arena in Suva.

“Individually there isn’t much we can do, but together as a nation, as Fijians ‘we are stronger than Winston; we shall rise; we shall rebuild; we shall conquer’.”

The 30-year-old from Bua who graduated with a Diploma in Information Technology was among the 1606 students who take on another chapter in their life.

“We’ve finally made it; this is the day we were dreaming off and the culmination of all the hard work, many hours of anxiety and stress and of course the sleepless nights.

“Our dreams and aspirations to pursue quality education at the University of the South Pacific has finally paid off. It has been a humbling yet exciting experience. At first it was kind a difficult for me but then I started to adapt to the teaching environment; I hope to further my studies with USP till I successfully complete my Masters,” he said.

 

Food for fees

Selling food parcels was how Naomi Navoce started financing her studies at USP

Despite being physically challenged, the 50-year-old’s struggles finally paid off when she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts.

“I started off as a private student before securing a scholarship.

“It was challenging. I started selling food parcels and I am very well known to the USP staff for that,” Ms Navoce said.

Ms Navoce said she was able to secure a scholarship in 2001 and she stayed on campus until she completed 18 units and worked in Nadi.

“I moved back to Suva in 2010; last semester through my employer, the Pacific Disability Forum Staff development programme they paid for the last two units which enabled me to complete my studies and I am grateful for their assistance.

“When I first enrolled at USP in 1999 and then leaving in 2005; the challenges was the environment; moving from one tutorial room to another was a problem because there were no ramps at that time.

“As years went by I have noticed the changes at USP; I must acknowledge the institution for developing a disability policy to enable us to further our studies,” she said.

 

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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