Careers

From The Matua Programme To Law School, Miliakere Says It’s Never Too Late To Go Back To School

“Sometimes I wanted to give up when the journey was tough but my children were always there to encourage me and that motivated me to complete my studies.
09 Mar 2020 15:13
From The Matua Programme To Law School, Miliakere Says It’s Never Too Late To Go Back To School
Miliakere Koroi at work at the Tiko Kece and Hire base in Lami. Photos: Wati Talebula

Miliakere Koroi wanted to do something for herself and that was to go back to school.

The former Adi Cakobau School (ACS) student is a radio operator with Tiko Kece Taxis who is now studying law at the University of the South Pacific.

She has just completed her three months attachment with the Legal Aid Commission Fiji.

The single mother of two is determined to complete her attachment.

The 49-year-old hails from Naqali Village in Naitasiri with maternal link to Lomai Village also in Naitasiri.

How it started

Ms Koroi did not complete her Year 12 when she was at ACS due to personal reasons.

“I was living in the village and I was not able to cope with the village life and that was when I decided to come back to Suva,” Ms Koroi said.

“I started working as an operator for Tiko Kece taxis that was when I asked Ratu (Tiko Kece director Ratu Loma Baleilevuka) to help me with my fees so they sponsored me to go to the Matua programme.

“I was in the Matua programme for two years to do my Year 12 and Year 13.

“It was hard at first because to be back in the classroom after a long time is difficult.

“I was determined and I satisfactorily completed the two years.

“Both my children were in high school when I decided to go back to school. When I was in Year 13 my daughter was in Year 13 also.

“I was not good in Maths it was my daughter who assisted when we studied. She taught me when I didn’t understand anything and she was always willing to help whenever I wanted her to help me with Maths.

“I worked as an operator for Tiko Kece Taxis in the day and studied at night.

“When I passed my Year 13, I decided to become a lawyer because I realise that if I become a lawyer, I would not retire at the age of 55 and that I can retire whenever I wanted to.”

Becoming a Law student

Miss Koroi was privileged to be a recipient of the AusAid scholarship to study law at USP.

“When I started studying as a law student, there were a lot of people who said I was too old to be studying,” she said.

“Sometimes I wanted to give up when the journey was tough but my children were always there to encourage me and that motivated me to complete my studies.

“My children always told me that I have already started with my studies and they wanted me to finish it too.

“I am glad that there was a lot of people who encouraged me, especially my family from my mother’s side. They helped me financially whenever they could and for that, I am very grateful.”

“I worked and tried to balance it with my study but it was tough. Six months later I asked Ratu if I could concentrate on my studies and to stop working and he agreed.

“I studied in the weekdays and worked on the weekend so that I could get some money for my bus fare, project and spending.

“I was glad when Ratu allowed me to continue to work on weekends. Tiko Kece Taxis have been with me from day one and I am blessed.

“After two years of my studies, I was able to work and study at the same time which I continue to do now.

“I have completed my law studies and just finished my three months attachment with Legal Aid. I am now waiting to be called again for another three months attachment before I graduate.”

“There were a lot of people who have helped me reach this far and for that I am grateful. I want to thank Ratu and Tiko Kece staff for always encouraging me.

“I am not doing this for myself but for all the people that helped me. I can’t wait to wear the lawyer suit because I had gone through a lot.”

Ms Koroi advice is that: “Nothing good comes easy so always strive to become the best version of yourself and never listen to the negative comments from people.

“To all the single mothers out there, sometimes we want to give up when things get tough, but always remember that your little ones value you.

“When you are going through any tough situation always remember those that were there for you when you get out of that situation. Your real friends are those that stay with you regardless how tough life gets.

“Never ask God for an easy life but always ask him to make you strong to be able to go through anything. Give thanks always to God in your good and bad days.”

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