Feature

Flying The Fijian Flag With Pride, Buinimasi Graduates From The Hebrew University

Mrs Buinimasi’s determination, sacrifices and steadfast faith in her maker has paid off when she became the lone Fijian graduate with a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (HUJI).
19 Sep 2021 12:37
Flying The Fijian Flag With Pride, Buinimasi Graduates From The Hebrew University
Luse Buinimasi.

In a time where many hopes and dreams have been shattered because of the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Luse Buinimasi is living proof that nothing is impossible when the heart is willing.

On September 2, Mrs Buinimasi’s determination, sacrifices and steadfast faith in her maker has paid off when she became the lone Fijian graduate with a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (HUJI).

The journey for the Vunimono, Bau, Tailevu native was no easy feat as she had to sacrifice time away from her family, husband and two daughters, to further her education in a foreign land.

Mrs Buinimasi said when she received her acceptance letter to the Hebrew University, she was over the moon with joy.

She said to have been accepted into such a prestigious programme and institute and represent her country as part of the 46th International Master’s in Public Health (IMPH) class was an honour.

“Walking into that graduation hall with my 21 other classmates to receive our degrees, I really felt emotional and blessed.

“I can only praise God for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and for His continued guidance and strength amid this pandemic which has allowed me to achieve this for not only myself, but also for my family and my country.”

FLYING THE FIJIAN FLAG WITH PRIDE... Luse Buinimasi (holding the Fiji flag) with other graduates of the Master’s Degree in Public Health programme from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel on September 2, 2021.

FLYING THE FIJIAN FLAG WITH PRIDE… Luse Buinimasi (holding the Fiji flag) with other graduates of the Master’s Degree in Public Health programme from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel on September 2,
2021.

Work 

Prior to leaving for Israel in 2020, she was the Tuberculosis (TB) Control Officer, for the Fiji Ministry of Health, Western division. A post she held since 2016.

“Being in Public Health for the last 14 years has taught me skills and life lessons through interactions with my patients, communities, and work colleagues.

“My supervisor, Dr Sam Fullman, had the vision and a similar opportunity of advanced studies abroad and he was instrumental in encouraging me to grow professionally and to equip me with new tools and knowledge that will greatly help the Fiji Ministry of Health in serving our people.

“I was also fortunate to have worked with an IMPH graduate and Dr Josaia Tiko, currently working at the World Health Organisation WPR in Manilla, Philippines, who inspired me to apply into the same program offered at HUJI.”

The journey 

With the right support, effective communication, and devotion Mrs Buinimasi’s journey at the university was one she would take on with a positive attitude always.

“I could not be in Israel for the start of classes on 18th October due to the pandemic and lockdowns. I had to adjust to several things at once: with the time difference, Fiji being 9-10 hours ahead of Israel, daily classes (from Sunday to Thursday) were held via Zoom starting around 8pm for until I departed on the 28th of November, 2020.”

She said she was grateful to the programme for balancing between academic and social activities, making her study and stay a memorable and unforgettable moment.

“Balancing my stay here in Jerusalem and planning out my daily activities with site tours, studies and assignments, physical activity sessions, social gatherings with friends and school administrators, and most of all, my daily connection with my God through personal quiet times and family devotion sessions helped in my journey through the year and everything else that was happening around me.”

Away from family 

Mrs Buinimasi said the distance was less challenging thanks to current technology which allowed her to communicate daily with her family.

“We even started daily Bible study and prayer sessions.”

She added that the tremendous support from her family has always been there since she departed in November 2020.

Mrs Buinimasi thanked everyone that has supported her spiritually and physically during her time of study.

“I thank my dedicated lecturers and professors from the programme, my church family, Lautoka Central Seventh Day Adventist Church, my parents, my seven siblings and their families, my devoted husband, and two daughters for their prayers and support.

“Also, my Fijian family here in Jerusalem, Mr and Mrs Takape, Mrs Ditoka, Mr and Mrs Cirimaiwasa, for their support and encouragement, since the first day I arrived.”

Advice to youths 

Her advice: “Surround yourselves with the right people, who will enable you to grow in all aspects of your lives (physically, emotionally, socially, and most importantly spiritually). God’s timing is always the best time.

“Proverbs 3: 5-7 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord and depart from evil.”

Edited by Losirene Lacanivalu 

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj



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