NATION

Brothers Tell How They Succeeded Together

Brothers, Sekope and Tevita Tawatatau now have something to show for.
13 Aug 2022 14:07
Brothers Tell How They Succeeded Together
Tevita Tawatatau (Right) and Sekope Tawatatau (left) with their mother Luisa Tawatatau (centre) at the Fiji Maritime Academy after the Deckhand Fishing programme graduation on August, 12, 2022. Photo: Jone Salusalu

Brothers, Sekope and Tevita Tawatatau now have something to show for.

Included among 27, they graduated from the Fiji National University (FNU) Deckhand Fishing pro­gramme on Friday.

Elder brother, Sekope, 25, said: “Of the odds, we first started doing small jobs to help our family right un­til we both were security guards in one prominent supermarket here in Suva.

“One fun fact about us is, whenever there is a job va­cancy, he (Tevita, 23) would call me up so I would also apply so eventually we would work together.”

The family have not seen triumph for quite some time after they lost their fa­ther three months ago.

“Now we will work hard and provide for our fami­lies,” Sekope said.

Mother, Lusia Tawatatau, could not hold back her tears as she took in her boys’ achievement.

Another graduate, Josate­ki Guivalu, said never in his wildest dreams did he think he would return to school.

The 49-year-old said he be­lieved the saying ‘age is just a number’.

He left school in Year 9 be­cause his parents could not afford school fees.

“I joined the fishing in­dustry straight after that, I have worked in various tuna companies and many other fishing line compa­nies.”

Programme

The cohort of graduates were scholarship recipi­ents funded through the By-catch and Integrated Ecosystem Management (BIEM) Initiative of the EU and government of Sweden.

Funded through the Pacif­ic- European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) pro­gramme under the project for FMA, World Wide Fund (WFF) for Nature and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Pro­gramme (SPREP).

The programme which was initiated in 2019, first offered a limited number of scholarships to poten­tial students interested in undertaking the Deckhand Fishing Programme and Offshore Fishing Skipper programme.

Principal lecturer, Safety & Survival Captain Tevita Robanakadavu said the university’s main vision was to produce qualified, competent and disciplined graduates who would serve the maritime and shipping industries in Fiji and the Pacific.

He said so far, 57 fishers have been selected for the Deckhand Fishing Pro­gramme of which 33 are males and 24 females.

Feedback: jone.salusalu@fijisun.com.fj



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