NATION

Headboy Asfaaq Stronger Than Winston

Mohammed Asfaaq Ali has endured a lot, including seeing the roof of his family home blown away by Tropical Cyclone Winston last year. The headboy at one of Lautoka’s rural
28 Feb 2017 11:00
Headboy Asfaaq Stronger Than Winston
Vakabuli Primary School headgirl, Ilivema Naniu and headboy Mohammed Asfaaq Ali. Photo: Charles Chambers

Mohammed Asfaaq Ali has endured a lot, including seeing the roof of his family home blown away by Tropical Cyclone Winston last year.

The headboy at one of Lautoka’s rural institutions, Vakabuli Primary School, continues to endure some hardship; he has to cross a river daily to attend school and return home.

The river bridge was washed away during the recent floods but this has failed to weaken his enthusiasm to learn.

However, there are days when he can’t make it to school and that’s when the river is flooded and dangerous to cross.

Asfaaq, 13, the eldest in a family of nine has not let these problems become a setback. He intends to finish school and become a Police officer in the future.

The school caters for 71 students and 50 per cent of the students are forced to stay home every time it rained heavily. Headboy Asfaaq is one of the students.

The other bridge that causes a problem for school children is the Vakabuli Paipai Irish Crossing.

This gets flooded all the time when it rains.

“Whenever I cannot make it to school, I make sure that I study my notes at home,” he said.

“Last year we lost the roof for our home but we have put back a new roof.”

He said he did not want such things to hinder his education.

“I have to walk through the river everyday to come to school as the bridge is not there but I am determined to get to school,” he said.

Headgirl Ilivema Naniu, 13, is determined to give her family a better life when she becomes a nurse.

“My dad works as a labourer in the cane farms and mum stays home to look after our food and other things,” she said.

She comes from a family of eight who are all attending school.

“It is hard but my dad works hard,” she said.

Ilivema lives near the school.

The prefects had their badges bought by their parents which they will keep with them when they leave for higher education.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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