22 November, 2019, 7:33 am
COLLECTING firewood after school and catching prawns for dinner are memories that Filomena Koroi fondly remembers of her childhood.
Raised by her great-grandmother at Yaroi Village in Savusavu at the age of six, she lost her mum but her great-grandmother stepped in to offer that motherly love.
The loss she felt then made her a resilient person to help other young children without a mum and hopefully guide them in the right path.
Filomena is a retired schoolteacher who taught for 37 years.
She was a headteacher for 15 years, was a headteacher trainer for Nadroga/Navosa education district for 10 years and is a senior circuit steward for the Methodist Church and a manageress for Dilkusha Methodist High School.
“I had retired back in 2001 and I joined the Methodist Women’s Fellowship as a trainer for mothers,” she said.
“While I was at the Methodist women’s office, I was offered to go and do a basic counselling course at USP.
“While there I was also offered a course to go overseas, it was called Christian counselling and I got a diploma in Sydney in counselling.”
She said she was supposed to return to the women’s fellowship but the office administrator informed her about going to the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC).
“I spent one year at PCC and returned to Dilkusha as its senior circuit steward.
“Now, I’m going into my ninth year with the Dilkusha Methodist High School as its manageress, assisting in the development of the school.”
She said working in the women’s office was a big change for her.
“To me it was a big change in the sense that I use to train students and now I’m training mothers.
“I have always told these women that children will depict what you teach them at home. It was easy for me because I knew what teachers went through on a daily basis when dealing with students.”
She said it had been 10 years in her role as senior circuit steward, a job basically looking after the schools and the church and doing Bible studies.
“After 10 years I was offered to counsel in prison and I thank God for preparing me and for using me to offer counselling to women inmates.
“I love to always quote from the Bible when offering counselling. I also offer counselling to their children if they want and I make sure to help those children in whichever way I can.
“I have been able reach out and help children, some of which have achieved their goals because of that small assistance.
“I know what these children go through, not having anyone to assist them especially when wanting things and not having anyone there to offer it to them.
“It’s the same things I felt when I lost my mum but I was fortunate to have my great-grandmother helping me like I’m helping these children in whichever way I can.”
She said all children needed love and if people offered that to children, they would definitely become successful in life.