Editorial

Editorial: Labour Scheme, Giving A Legup For Bulou Talatoka And Others Like Her

When Bulou Talatoka’s husband walked out on her and their three children 11 years ago, she told herself that she would do everything in her power to support her children. And for a while she was. She and the children lived in the house that she built and they lived, not comfortably, but enough to get by.
05 Apr 2022 10:00
Editorial: Labour Scheme, Giving A Legup For Bulou Talatoka And Others Like Her
Bulou Talatoka at the Kshatriya Hall in Suva on Monday, April 4, 2022. Photo: Sheenal Charan

When Bulou Talatoka’s husband walked out on her and their three children 11 years ago, she told herself that she would do everything in her power to support her children.

And for a while she was.

She and the children lived in the house that she built and they lived, not comfortably, but enough to get by.

 

She was dabbling in many kinds of vending until she was able to sustain her children better with the canteen she started.

But her children are growing and with that comes greater responsibilities.

For some time, her friends had been convincing her to sign up for the Pacific Australia Labour (PALM) Mobility Scheme.

 

She was reluctant to do so because the thought of leaving her children behind in Fiji for three years was too far-fetched.

But after talking it out with her eldest who is 18, she was convinced of the greater prospects for her family if she did leave.

Yesterday, Ms Talatoka was among 192 Fijians who was recruited under the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme.

 

The official announcement was done at Kshatriya Hall in Suva yesterday.

Like most in the contingent, they will leave their families and loved ones behind for three years and have secured meaningful employment.

Through the PALM scheme, eligible businesses can recruit workers for seasonal jobs for up to 9 months or for longer-term roles for between one and three years in unskilled, low-skilled and semi-skilled positions.

 

Like others before her and with her, Ms Talatoka has big plans for her wages.

The Sawakasa, Tailevu woman hopes to provide a more stable income for her children and also build a  house where they can stay together in Cautata, Bau, Tailevu.

 

For the marginalized, the scheme is the door or pathway to further opportunities.

It means a chance to travel out of Fiji after two years, it means hope for a better and brighter future for their families and some, a shot at life.

Something to do for themselves if not for others.

 

Feedback: ranoba.baoa@fijisun.com.fj



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