Nanny aims for degree

Alivani Mere, a member of the Korotogo property’s well-known Meimei nanny service. Picture: SUPPLIED

Alivani Mere’s warmth is not lost on the many children who are guests at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort.

As a member of the Korotogo property’s renowned Meimei nanny service which is 23 strong, she is responsible for making every parents’ stay a memorable one by taking care of their munchkins for a few hours each day. From Malevu Village, which is close to the resort, Alivani has worked at the resort for more than seven years and says she enjoys her role as a nanny.

“I love that through my job I get to meet new children and their parents from other countries,” the 29-year-old said. Children left in their care receive exceptional attention from the meimei nannies.

“Our services include looking after children for parents who want to enjoy a quiet breakfast or dinner and they get picked up afterwards.”

The resort provides nanny services for children between the ages of six months to 12 years and their time with the meimei is spent in fun indoor and outdoor activities customised for the different age groups and interests. Alivani said it was always a joy to see returnee guests and children.

“We meet some of our guests who we haven’t seen for a long time and they still remember us.

“It is always a joy being around children and looking after them, it really has been quite an unforgettable experience.”

While taking care of children is one of her delights in life, Alivani is also a very dedicated student.

She is undertaking Bachelor in Higher Education (Secondary) studies at the Fiji National University Lautoka Campus and is in her final year.

“It was sometimes a struggle balancing between work and school, but I always make sure I have time set aside for school work.

“I have only three units left for school and hopefully I’ll be done by next semester.

“I’m grateful to be employed because what I earn from working here at the resort, I use to pay my school fees.”

Alivani said the resort’s support towards her education had been immense.

“When I’m free, the resort also provides koronivuli online classes for us so we just bring our own laptop.

“There are many things apart from working we can do to further our knowledge; we just have to utilise our time wisely.”

For many Fijians like Alivani, who work in the tourism industry, COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 left a huge dent in their livelihoods as many were left with no choice but to return home.

“COVID was a very big challenge for us because there was no work and we were forced to stay at home.

“The pandemic really affected many of us hotel workers because resorts were shut down and many lost their jobs. “For me, it was really hard because this was my only source of income.

“I just stayed back in the village with my family and prayed that the pandemic would end so we could all come back to work.” She said the reopening of Fiji’s borders for international tourists in December 2021 was a huge blessing for her and many others who worked at the resort.

“It was a joyous moment for many of us to see international tourists, and locals as well, visiting our resort.

“Many of us working here were so pleased to see each other again after almost a year away from the Outrigger.

“Before we used to work maybe four days a week, depending on our schedule, but now we have only one day off.

“I am so happy to be back at my work and doing what I love to do which is taking care of children as part of the meimei service.”

Her message to people is to never give up on their dreams. “It’s never too late to reach your full potential. “Working hard and staying committed will help your achieve your dreams.”

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