NEWS

Taoi, Naicker Ready To Serve In Golan Heights

“I was very blessed to be chosen and it was great privilege to serve my country and the United Nations,” said the 33-year-old.
04 Apr 2021 11:33
Taoi, Naicker Ready To Serve In Golan Heights
Corporal Nitesh Pillay (left), and Corporal Ponal Naicker at the Nadi International Airport on April 3, 2021. Photo: Mereleki Nai

Like many peacekeepers being deployed overseas, Staff Sergeant Jimaima Taoi and Corporal Ponal Naicker are ready for the challenge awaiting them.

The two were among the 89 soldiers, including five officers in the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, who left Nadi yesterday to serve a year-long mission with the United Nations Disengagement Force (UNDOF) serving at the Golan Heights between Syria and Israel.

For Staff Sergeant Taoi, one of her biggest challenges was leaving her family behind.

The mother of two, who is originally from Vanuavatu in Lau with maternal links to Wailevu Kadavu, is a physiotherapist and was selected as a member of the medical team for the mission.

“I was very blessed to be chosen and it was great privilege to serve my country and the United Nations,” said the 33-year-old.

Sergeant Taoi also said the mission would be a learning experience for her.

From left: Lance Corporal Frances Tabisa, Staff Sergeant Luisa Lotawa, Staff Sergeant Jimaima Taoi and Staff Sergeant Kristle Rabuku at the Nadi International Airport on April 3, 2021. Photo: Mereleki Na

From left: Lance Corporal Frances Tabisa, Staff Sergeant Luisa Lotawa, Staff Sergeant Jimaima Taoi and Staff Sergeant Kristle Rabuku at the Nadi International Airport on April 3, 2021. Photo: Mereleki Na

“I am looking forward to this trip because I will learn a lot of new things. I know that life is all about learning new things,” she said.

“I know I am young, grasping things along the way and I am thankful that with God everything is possible.”

Meanwhile, this will be 30-year-old Corporal Naicker’s second mission to the Middle East.

“We have been obliged to take part in a worthy cause in representing our country. I am looking forward to this mission and I am excited about it,” Corporal Naicker said.

“My family in Labasa has wished me well. Even though I miss them but we will meet again.”

The Officer Commanding the Peacekeeping School, Captain Robert Browne briefed the peacekeepers on the dangers of area that they are going to serve in problems of COVID-19 and the standards that they need to maintain as representatives of their country.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: mereleki.nai@fijisun.com.fj



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