A DEDICATED and determined student among his peers at Namaka Public School in Nadi, seven-year-old Julian Varamua is known for hardly missing classes since school began this year.
However, when the young boy missed two weeks of classes, it seemed unusual to his teacher Seinimili Vosawale.
When Julian finally returned to classes two weeks later, he told Mrs Vosawale that his mother was sick as the reason for his absence.
"He only told me that his mother Litia Baleiwai was sick but I did not know to what extent her sickness had gone," said the Class 2 teacher.
A few days later Mrs Vosawale met Varamua's uncle who informed her that his mother had cancer.
"And we also found out from an article in The Fiji Times last week that his family was looking for money to take Julian's mum overseas for treatment."
Mrs Baleiwai needs $9000 to receive treatment for her stage 2B cervical cancer in India or $100,000 for the same treatment in Australia.
Inspired by the story, Mrs Vosawale rallied her young students to fundraise.
"Even though they're young they knew that Julian's mother needed help. I would hear them talking about his mother's health and he would sometimes cry in class which also brought the other students to tears," said Mrs Vosawale.
With their classmate in need of help, the young six and seven-year olds organised a fundraiser in which parents and guardians were encouraged to give whatever they could.
On Thursday evening, with the assistance of the school management and the parents, the Class 2V students managed to collect $520 along with gifts and get well cards for Varamua's mother.
Varamua's uncle Tomi Baca said he was grateful to the students.
"I would like to thank them for their support for Julian and our family would always be grateful to them," said Mr Baca.
He said his sister, had been receiving support from the community and family members since her story broke out.
"It has definitely given her a much needed boost," he said.