Advocate for the disabled

Elenoa Kaisau with her proud parents, Toma Dogovere and Maria Wai following her graduation. Picture: LUKE RAWALAI

ELENOA Kaisau has always viewed her disability as an ability, never allowing it to stand between her and her aspirations. Ms Kaisau said achieving another milestone yesterday after receiving her Certificate in Disability Studies was an honour, adding it brought her closer to her dream of being an advocate for those living with disabilities.

Flanked by her proud parents Toma Dogovere and Maria Wai yesterday, the eldest of eight siblings said hard work and perseverance paved the way for her.

“The course has taught me how to work with those living with disabilities in communities, highlighting their needs and directing them towards assistance from Government and other organisations,” she said.

“I started attending the course in July, finishing it in December last year. “Growing up I have always wanted to help those with disabilities because I had done volunteer work for organisations that work directly with those living with disabilities and I have always been encouraged to do more when I see the conditions of others.

“I count myself a bit fortunate and take it upon myself that I was put in this condition to become the hands, legs, mouths and ears for others living with disabilities.”

Ms Kaisau, 34, said prior to the graduation she had been on Taveuni with a team from the Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons, creating awareness about support services and care for those with disabilities.

Ms Kaisau’s mother, Maria Wai, said she was happy her daughter was enjoying what she was doing, adding she was an inspiration to her siblings.

Ms Kaisau, who was born with complications on her left leg, graduated with 27 other students from the Australia-Pacific Technical College in Labasa yesterday.