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Fiji Time: 2:06 AM on Saturday 19 April

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Lata's big dreams

Repeka Nasiko
Monday, February 04, 2013

A SINGLE mother of three Saroj Lata took a bold step and set-up her own canteen in a bid to cater for her small family.

She said life was difficult as she had to raise her three children alone.

"It's especially difficult for me because my eldest daughter is bedridden and has epilepsy," said Ms Lata.

"My two younger children are also schooling and I have to provide for their education."

Ms Lata said life in general had been very hard as she struggled to put food on the table for her children.

"So many challenges but I did not let that stop me from doing something for my family."

She said although the family received financial support from her former husband, it was not enough to support the needs of all her children.

"I kept praying to God and asked Him to help me through this.

"The idea to start a canteen came to me but after a while it could not grow because I could not make any profit."

Just as she was about to give up on that dream, Ms Lata said she was told about the financial support given by Empower Pacific through their Income Generation Program.

"I went to them and told them about my business idea and they agreed to help me.

"I loaned $300 from them and bought more groceries for the canteen.

"They also gave business advice to help me keep the business running."

Since September last year, Ms Lata has been able to expand her business and make a small profit.

"With the money I managed to save, I was able to buy my children's stationery and pay for their fees.

"I can also buy my daughter's medicine and give her the proper treatment she needs."

Ms Lata's long-term dream includes running a large supermarket with an equally bustling fuel station for vehicles.