‘I cannot afford to see them hungry’

Ateca Ravai with her children, nieces and nephews at their home in Natokowaqa settlement, Lautoka. Picture: REINAL CHAND

When the country was hit by COVID-19 last year, The Fiji Times highlighted the challenges faced by Ateca Ravai and how she had no choice but to nourish her one-year-old toddler with lemon-leaf tea because she couldn’t afford milk.

This year, Ms Ravai said the burden on their shoulders doubled when her family took in her brother-in-law’s children, a one-year-old and a six-month-old.

“There are 11 of us living under one roof and during this lockdown, we are surviving on rations and what my husband can fetch to feed us,” she said.

“It has not been easy but I have not given up hope because my children need to be fed daily.

“I cannot afford to see them hungry and it hurts a lot as they are still small.”

Ms Ravai said she would go the extra mile, even to the extent of asking from others, just to ensure the six children had something to eat.

She said her six-month-old nephew survived on Lactogen formula and she had to beg her family in Suva to assist in purchasing it.

Ms Ravai said her husband had been off work for the past couple of weeks because of the COVID-19 health restrictions.

“We are so grateful to those who continue to help us and we believe our prayers have been answered.”

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