NATION

Suva’s Door-To-Door Pineapple Seller Secures Big Break

Ilaisa Vokulu is a familiar figure in offices and in the streets of Suva. He is often seen carrying a big white container selling fresh pineapples at offices on a daily basis.
21 May 2022 17:48
Suva’s Door-To-Door Pineapple Seller Secures Big Break
Ilaisa Vokulu 32 is also part of the 103 Fijians selected for Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme on May 20, 2022.

Ilaisa Vokulu is a familiar figure in offices and in the streets of Suva.

He is often seen carrying a big white container selling fresh pineapples at offices on a daily basis.

But things would soon change for the better for the young man from Delaidamanu Village in Naitasiri.

On Friday, he was among the 108 Fijians who were fare­welled by the Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Parveen Bala after their selection to work under the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme.

Mr Vokulu is likely to depart Fiji next week for the four-year seasonal workers programme in Australia.

The 39-year-old father of four children was elated as he looked forward to earning an income that would provide for his family’s needs while away overseas.

“My wife and I have been involved in small businesses, we would be in the market selling fresh water mussels and I would be engaged in selling fresh pineapples with few other men to earn a descent income,” he said.

“We live in such difficult times and to have this opportuni­ty to go and work in Australia I thank the two governments, Australia and Fiji for making it possible for us who had thought we didn’t have a chance at such opportunities.”

Mr Vokulu had applied for a spot with the National Em­ployment Center in 2020.

He was encouraged by some family and friends who had gone as part of the seasonal workers scheme to apply.

“Going to Australia my main focus will be improving the livelihood of my family. That’s the priority,” he said.

“I have always lived in the village and I have so many plans that I hope to achieve as part of this four-year programme in Australia.”

He added that living on what they had earned from the sale of freshwater mussels and pineapples has been a strug­gle but they had been able to raise their four children on the little they earned.

“I will be part of the fruit picking team in Australia and I will do my best to ensure that I will be able to fulfill all my wishes with this opportunity,” he said.

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj



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