Drawing strength from within

Losana Durunilovo, centre, with the women on Kavewa Island, Macuata. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

The pain of losing a loved one can feel overwhelming. For Losana Durunilovo, losing her husband to tragedy, has exposed her family to hardships. With three children to feed, clothe and send to school, each day has its shares of sorrow.

But the Kavewa Islander from Macuata has learnt to take one day at a time, hoping that she continues to find the inner strength to continue. Last year, her late husband went fishing with other villagers but failed to return.

“I will never forget that day,” she said,”…my husband goes out fishing every week to bring food for the family so whatever happened to him remains a mystery to me.”

“This is because they never found his body although he didn’t go out diving or fished in the deep sea. He only went to the reef to collect sea mussels and crabs for us. But he disappeared from that area and was never found again.

“The men reached the boat but my husband was never found so I am now feeling the impact of his departure.”

The emotional mother of three could not hold back her tears while sharing her experience. With the sudden hike in the cost of living, fending for her family is her biggest mountain.

She now realises the brand of hardships single mothers often encounter.

“I used to depend on my husband but now that he’s gone, I need do everything on my own.”

“It’s not easy but I manage everyday. The high cost of premix for the boat is something I cannot afford alone so I go with other women to share costs.

“Being a single parent is very difficult as I need to do everything from putting food on the table, planting our own food and vegetables, going out fishing and supervising the children who are in school.”

In the past year, Losana has managed to fulfill her parental obligations by providing for her children.

Even when there is not enough food in the house, everyone shares whatever little she provides at the table. She grabs a thing or two from the plantation and goes fishing to supply her children with meat protein.

“I go fishing and get enough for our supply or I plant vegetables or sell seafood in Labasa to get some money to support my children.

“My youngest is boarding at Labasa College and whenever I get the chance to travel to Labasa, I always go and visit him.”

In the midst of all her struggles, Losana has always found strength. She believes that power from within her comes from God.

“Whenever things get really tough, I turn to God and that’s where I find my strength because he gives me peace that no other can,” she said.

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