FIJI NEWS | NATION

Keleto Lawakeli Graduates Despite Being Paralysed

“I cannot do anything because of my condition, I need full time care even to be fed so I am grateful to my family for their care, the staff of Homes of Compassion where I spent a year, financial donors, caregivers, massage therapists and physio and also my teachers for their help,” he said.
24 Nov 2021 10:45
Keleto Lawakeli Graduates Despite Being Paralysed
Keleto Lawakeli (right) received his Diploma in Theology from Archbishop Peter Loy Chong at the Pacific Regional Seminary in Suva on November 17, 2021. Photo - Archdiocese of Suva

Being paralysed and bedridden for the past five years never slowed down Keleto Lawakeli’s ambition to pursue his Diploma in Theology.

The 31-year-old Cavaga Villager from Solevu in Bua was among 36 students who graduated from the Pacific Regional Seminary in Suva on Wednesday, November 17.

He joined the seminary for the three-year course in 2014 and in August, 2016 he was walking on the roadside in Tacirua when a car hit him leaving him paralysed from the neck down.

 

“I only had four units left to graduate when I got into that car accident. I was walking at night and I didn’t know that the car had come onto the side of the road and hit me from the back,” he said.

“I have a spinal injury and I am under full time care from both my parents who left their jobs to care for me and my two younger brothers.”

With the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic last year and education being taught online, Keleto saw it fit to continue his studies remotely via Zoom.

 

“I stay in Wainibuku and sometimes the network is bad and I can’t connect on Zoom because I use my phone for the classes,” Keleto said.

“At times there are temptations to give up when the going gets tough but I never wanted my condition to get in the way of achieving my dreams so I trained myself to always remain positive.”

Now that he’s received his Diploma, he’s already set his eyes on furthering his education and attaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Divinity.

 

He also wishes to take up Moral Theology and Psychology studies in University with the aim of branching into academia to teach and help families and the young and old to put their God-given talents to good use.

“I cannot do anything because of my condition, I need full time care even to be fed so I am grateful to my family for their care, the staff of Homes of Compassion where I spent a year, financial donors, caregivers, massage therapists and physio and also my teachers for their help,” he said.

“I hope God will give me the strength to spread the word of God to others.”

 

His message to others is to never give up hope even when the world seems to be working against you.

“Keep praising God. Nothing is easy in this world, education is hard, life is hard but we need to keep thriving.”

Keleto is the second eldest of six children and resides in Wainibuku with his family.

 

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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