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Fiji Time: 8:35 AM on Friday 25 April

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Beaten three times, mum refuses to give up for daughter

Repeka Nasiko
Saturday, February 02, 2013

THE year 2012 is the worst 12 months for a Vuniyasi family in Nadi after their home was destroyed not once, not twice, but three times by natural disasters.

But Sofia Bi did not let the struggles and hardships that followed to dampen her spirit nor let it affect her two-year-old daughter's childhood.

Ms Di, who has a small canteen at their Vuniyasi home, recalled how they spent almost three months sleeping on a cold floor while they recovered from the January and March floods.

"We lost everything. We were still trying to recover from the first flood when the second one hit and we could not save anything," she said.

After a few months of struggle, Ms Bi threw herself into a UN Development Program-funded cash for work project where she earned $200.

"I sewed eco-friendly bags and also helped out in our vegetable farm which a group of women was running.

"Money earned from the sale of the bags and vegetables was put aside to start a small business. It was also through UNDP that I came to know about Empower Pacific and their income generating project program."

But luck was not on Ms Bi's side as Tropical Cyclone Evan destroyed parts of her home before she could expand her business.

"From the $500 loan I took from Empower Pacific, I bought more groceries to sell. I began selling small stuff such as sweets and canned fish but now I am also selling chicken, rice, flour, sugar and most basic groceries.