Fiji Time: 1:41 AM on Friday 19 January

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Dreams do come true

Matilda Simmons
Thursday, October 19, 2017

SHE was married off at the age of 17 when a proposal came to her parents from a prospective suitor 19 years ago. Rehana Sofia had just finished high school and such a proposal was looked up to by her family.

"It was an arranged marriage," Rehana said.

"At that time, many young Indian girls were married off once a proposal came. It was common and we just accepted our fate."

But after 19 years and two children, the mother felt she needed to do more with her life.

"I wanted to become something in life," she said smiling

"My eldest son is 17 and he is in university while my younger daughter is nine years old. Today as people get more educated and westernised, our mind-set has changed.

"People are getting their daughters educated and I want the best too for my daughter. I want her to see that anything is possible so I enrolled in the Matua program."

On Thursday, October 12, Rehana finally realised her dream of graduating from her Year 12 class under the Matua program.

The program gives high school dropouts a second chance at education.

It was an opportunity Rehana described as fulfilling.

Apart from coming second in her class, she also achieved the overall highest mark in computer studies.

"I'm now 36 years old. My husband is overseas so I did this on my own. I had to be independent. My great supporters were my mum and my children who came to witness my graduation. My fellow mates were also very supportive," she said.

For Rehana, this is not the end of the road. In fact, she says, education has no end no matter where you are or your age.

"Come and join the Matua program and become successful. We were all dropouts and we all helped each other.

"I felt lost at the beginning but I took it as a challenge. My mum and lovely husband are very proud of me.

"I want to further my education so if the opportunity comes, I will grab it."

Her advice to those who have gone through a similar experience is to be brave and patient.

"Be what you want to be in life. Nothing should stop you," she said.

"If one door closes in life, don't be disheartened.

"God will open another door with better opportunities. Just wait and be patient and let it happen in its own way."








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