Daughter Fulfils Father’s Dream

  A father’s dream to watch her daughter stand up on her feet will surely come true, says Sairusi Tokoniono. Mr Tokoniono, 50, of Nabouwalu, was overjoyed and in tears as
11 Feb 2017 11:00
Daughter Fulfils Father’s Dream
Suva Special School head girl Vaela Baleicakau with her father Sairusi Tokoniono . Photo: Ronald Kumar.


A father’s dream to watch her daughter stand up on her feet will surely come true, says Sairusi Tokoniono.

Mr Tokoniono, 50, of Nabouwalu, was overjoyed and in tears as his daughter, Vaela Baleicakau, 17, was badged as the headgirl of Suva Special School, during the school’s prefect induction ceremony in Suva yesterday.

He said he was worried about his daughter knowing her inabilities but she proved him wrong.

“We normally see that the society always push away people who have disabilities and that is what I am concerned of.

“If something happens to my wife and I, who will be there to take care of her?

“But now I know that I should not be worried because she can take care of herself and stand on her own feet,” Mr Tokoniono said.

Despite Vaela being rejected by various numbers of schools due to dyslexia, her leadership qualities made her stand out among the 102 students at the school.

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling.

Mr Tokoniono said Vaela faced difficulties learning when she was in Year 1.

“She was having problems in class 1 and after that she was not getting admissions to other schools, I decided to send her here at the Suva Special School.

“The main purpose for admitting her at this school was to improve on her abilities to learn, but she showed more than that.

“She has made me proud by becoming the headgirl of the school which shows she has great leadership skills.

“She has also improved on a lot of things at home because of what she learned,” Mr Tokoniono said.

He said Vaela had also achieved some certificates from Fiji National University in Fashion and Designing.

“Vaela is really good in arts and craft and that is why we had enrolled her in FNU for Fashion and Designing course.

“She had achieved a few certificates and I am sure one day she will make a big name in the future.

“She has also done certificate in computer also.

“It was not easy to financially support her because my wife is the only one working and I am a casual worker, working around in the neighbourhood.

“But she never complained if we were not able to give her something that she desired,” Mr Tokoniono said.

Vaela said her inspiration were her parents and teachers who helped her.

“I would like to thank my parents and teachers for their support and pray to God to bless them always,” she said.

The head boy of the school, Ilaisa Gusuisoli, 17, of Calaitoga, Naitasiriri said he would help the students who needed his support.

“I know I have to work hard to provide the support and help the students need.

“I want to show them that I am there for them,” Ilaisa said.

Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, Margaret Twomey was the chief guest of the event, said to the prefects that they are not only an example to their fellow students at Suva Special School but to the rest of Fiji.

“You can show them that you are capable, educated and valuable members of the community,” she said.



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