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 Sharda Mani, 49, Presses On Regardless To Achieve Dream

Press on regardless. That was exactly what Sharda Mani did to achieve what she has been chasing for three decades. Miss Mani, 49, may be a jack of all trades
06 Jul 2018 10:00
 Sharda Mani, 49, Presses On Regardless To Achieve Dream
Sharda Mani with her Certificate III in Individual Support during the Australia Pacific Technical College graduation at the Friendly North Inn in Labasa on May 24,2018. Photo: Shratika Naidu

Press on regardless. That was exactly what Sharda Mani did to achieve what she has been chasing for three decades.

Miss Mani, 49, may be a jack of all trades but her focus was to be a certi­fied caregiver kept her pursuing until she got it.

That became reality when in May, she was the only Fijian woman of Indian descent to graduate from the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) with her Certificate III in Individual Support.

She was one of the 20 students that graduated on May 24 this year at the Friendly Inn, Labasa.

Her graduation proved that age and stature don’t matter when it came to education.

Tears in her eyes she had walked up to receive her certificate.

“Those tears were for the hardship, challenges, obstacles and struggles I went through these years,” Miss Mani said.

“It has been 31 years and with this certificate I can now apply for a car­egiver job in Australia.

“It has always been my dream af­ter completing Year 13 at All Saints Secondary School in Labasa to re­ceive tertiary education,” she said.

“After secondary school I worked for eight years as a cashier in numer­ous supermarkets.

“Then I started my own business, selling eggs from home, sold pot plants, and if anyone wanted me to work as a driver I would do as a part time job.

“During my free time I would teach my friends and families how to drive so that they can get a driving licence.

“As years passed by I had some sav­ings and got my own house as I like to be independent and live life to the fullest.

“That doesn’t mean I left my par­ents.

“I still continue to look after my par­ents who live beside my house.

“My dream had always been to be caregiver and work in Australia and now I am in a position to do that.

“Attending classes for six months was very challenging and I asked my­self many times whether I was ready for this.”

Miss Mani is number four in a fam­ily of six siblings.

She attributes her strong will to her parents and strong family support.

Growing up her parents always al­lowed her the space to span her wings when she wanted to try out new things.

“I was always adventurous, I liked to try out new things and driving was one of them,” she said.

“My uncle who recently passed away encouraged me to enrol into this course so that I can live my dream.

“I then thought about my age and how will I manage with assignments that required computer work.

“At one time I put all these thoughts and doubts aside and prayed to God for His will be done.

“With the help and support of my lec­turers and APTC I have this certifi­cate in my hands and it feels so good.

“I have proven that a cashier, aged woman, bachelorette and return­ing to education system after three decades can secure a decent tertiary qualification to get a better job.

“It just a matter of faith and patience in God knowing that He is in control of everything and nothing is impos­sible with Him.”





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