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Orphans repay adopted parents

By MANEESHA KARAN
Tuesday, July 06, 2010

HAVING to lose parents at 10 years can make a child's world come crashing down but there are only a few children in the world who can find the courage to survive without taking up a life of crime.

One of these brave children is 17-year-old Patrick Baisoba.

He comes from a family of Muslims and Hindus and now only has his seven-year-old brother after they lost their parents 10 years ago.

But that was not the end of his family.

Patrick was initially called Zoheb but he changed it to Patrick after he found a new home with an indigenous Fijian family in Daguru.

His mother and father, as he likes to refer to them, are Vilimaina and Mateo Qiolele, and they are the family he always wanted for his sibling and himself.

"They are very nice people and treat us like their own children," Patrick said.

"We work together in the yaqona farm and help bappa (father) sell yaqona at Labasa market," he said.

The Fiji Times met Patrick in Valelawa where he was at his aunt's home grating coconuts to make oil for personal use.

His aunt, Ulfat Bi, said Patrick's biological mother often visited them to ask for help.

"She used to stay with us for about a month and help around with the house," Ms Bi said.

"She was a very courageous woman and did all sorts of work to bring up her children. She brought up her children well so Patrick and his brother didn't have to turn to crime to survive.

"Their good behaviour has also helped them find shelter and a family to belong to even though they are of different ethnic backgrounds."

Ms Bi said it was fun to have Patrick around because of his smile and talkative nature.

Patrick enjoys living with his Fijian family.

"They adopted my brother and I and I would like to help them when they grow old," he said.

"The oil produced from these coconuts is for my family and I intend to help them whatever way I can.

"My aunt (Ms Bi) and her family have always welcomed me at their home and I feel blessed to have such nice people like her and my parents around me."





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