PHYSICALLY-challenged Ulaiasi Matia has spent the past years watching his friends play rugby on the village lawn and only wishes he could be part of the game.
The nine-year-old nodded when asked if he could play rugby. Born lame and unable to walk, Matai's days of lying at home are over as he can move around the village and join his friends and cousins in their daily ventures through a wheelchair he received as a gift.
The son of Laite and Pome Mate, both of Naduri, says being physically-challenged and not being able to work is a thing of the past.
"Before, I used to just lie around the house now I am sometimes allowed by my mum to enjoy the rain and visit my friends in their houses," said Ulaiasi.
"Sunday is the best day for me because I attend morning service and meet the whole village."
Mrs Mate said even though her son was born with his special condition, it has not spoilt their happiness because the cheerful lad keeps them laughing with his lively conversations. "We thank Vodafone ATH for the kind deed in providing my son with a new lease of life and it is a joy to see him enjoy himself," she said.
Vodafone ATH Foundation executive officer Ambalika Devi said their support was made possible through the joint networks of charity partners, Spinal Injury Association and Action for Children and The Aged Trust Fiji.