NEWS

Vocational Centre For Orphanage

Of the 110 students, about 60 per cent are orphans while some are said to be from good families and others from overseas.
21 Mar 2019 10:00
Vocational Centre For Orphanage
Officials of the Darul Uloom Darul Yatama in Drasa, Lautoka, at the site of the $1.2 million vocational centre which is under construction. Photo: Avinesh Gopal

An orphanage run by the Muslim community has embarked on a $1.2 million project to construct a vocational centre.

The Darul Uloom Darul Yatama (Islamic Institute and Orphans Home) in Drasa, Lautoka, has 110 students attending various schools in the district.

Of the 110 students, about 60 per cent are orphans while some are said to be from good families and others from overseas.

Children from Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Samoa are at the institute.

The institute’s vice principal and head priest, Mufti Shaizad Ali, said about 80 students attend primary and secondary schools in the Lau- toka district.

Mr Ali said 85 students were boarding at the institute while the rest were not boarders.

“We meet all expenses of the students who are boarding here. We are like their father and mother and we treat them as our own children,” he said.

“We have two cooks, cleaners and watchman at the institute. The students’ lunch is prepared and packed for them. Everything is done for them here.

“The Muslim community funds the running of the institute. We are affiliated to the Fiji Muslim League and we are registered and recognised by the Fiji Higher Education Commission.”

Mr Ali said the running of the institute was funded by locals and visitors from overseas donated cash or other items for the students use.

He said some prominent business- people in Lautoka also donated food items or other things to the institute from time to time.

Asked about the students from neighbouring island countries who are at the institute, Mr Ali said it was through their links with students studying at universities in Fiji.

“The island students we have here are through their links with those coming from island countries to study at universities here,” he said.

“When they tell their people back home study at universities here,” he said.

Mr Ali said work had started on a $1.2 million vocational centre for the benefit of students who would leave secondary school.

He said the centre would provide courses in plumbing, joinery and basic automotive and electrical engineering to name a few things.

“We want to get them into trade when they leave school and the construction of the vocational centre is totally funded by locals,” Mr Ali said.

“We are working on it slowly as funds come in, but everything is on course right now.”

Edited by Epineri Vula

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