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Esala sets example for peers

Sikeli Qounadovu
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

WHEN Esala Bale was appointed as head boy of Wainimakutu Secondary School last year, he was the pride of his family and his village.

When he successfully completed his Fiji Year 13 External Examinations, he again was the pride of the family.

Many students travel by bus to get to their school. Others by taxi or private vehicles. Then there are those handful of students who have to walk because their school is just a stone's throw.

But for Bale, as he is commonly known, during his primary and secondary education he was forced to go to boarding school because one had to tread through a tough trek in the rugged terrains of the Naitasiri and Namosi provinces to get to his village.

Originally from Nasava Village in the district of Noemalu in the upper reaches of the Wainimala River much closer to the Namosi and Navosa border, Bale like every other student has made a lot of sacrifices.

These sacrifices included spending most of the time in school and less time at home.

From a family of eight siblings, Bale, whose parents are both farmers, is now reaping the rewards of hard work, perseverance and determination.

He is one of only a few students from the village that has earned a place at the University of the South Pacific, pursuing a bachelor of science degree majoring in math and chemistry beginning this year.

His determination has not gone unnoticed and he was blessed to be one of the succesful students for Government's Tertiary Education Loans Scheme.

He hopes to complete his degree in three years.

"I want to let my siblings and children in my village know that no matter where we are located or the hardships we go through, we can succeed," he said.

"All it takes is a lot of determination and sacrifice."

Bale's achievement is now an inspiration and motivation for the students of Nasauvere Primary School, whose main access to the nearest road is a four-hour trek, crossing the Wainimala River 32 times to get to Sawanikula Village.

Sawanikula Village is a three-hour truck ride from Suva following the Monasavu Rd.

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