People: A positive attitude

Laisani Colailago with her sons Ratu Suliasi Colailago, left, and Jeremaia Colailago. Picture: SUPPLIED

Mother of five Laisani Colailago says looking after children in this day and age isn’t an easy task, in fact it’s a responsibility that comes with its daily challenges.

Laisani and her family were among hundreds of families in Fiji who lost their jobs due to COVID-19. Over the past months their struggles have brought them closer to each other.

Laisani said it was a worrying time for her and her husband having to fend for their family without a job.

“It’s hard to keep them focused on their education, especially during this second wave of COVID-19. We have to be positive and guide them all the time,” Laisani said.

Laisani said she maintained her positive attitude thoughout her ordeal because she knew in her heart God would provide them a way through the storm.

Her eldest is Maria Divoa, who is in Year 12 at John Wesley College. Mika is in Year 11, Maraia is in Year 8, Ratu Suliaso is in Year 4 and her youngest Jeremaia is in Year One.

Laisani worked as personal assistant at the Secret Spot Investment – a business that sells hardwood timber.

“However, the business closed down after the second wave and we only received one and half months of wages for the end of February,” she said.

“This virus caught us all by surprise – more a state of shock as most of us were left unemployed – there was no other source of income for me and we lived in Suva where we need money all the time to sustain us,” she said.

Luckily for Laisani her husband had been maintaining their yaqona farm in his village at Qamea, Vanua Levu.

“When I was out of work relatives from the island sent us grog every month to sell here at our place in Raiwai. To supplement this, my husband sometimes goes out to sea to dive for fish to sustain our family.”

“I am thankful to my families and friends who helped us get by, most importantly God for providing me with the strength to carry on my duties as a mother and a wife.

“I always make sure that we have family time and devotion every 7pm. These hard times have brought us closer as a family and we discuss what we go through each day. For me, family time is very important and how we commit ourselves to the Lord,” she said.

For the time being, she has been working part-time at the Raiwai Methodist Church office for three days as office administration officer.

“I work for three days at the church office and I make sure that I do my work diligently.

“When you have children, you have to meet their needs and make sure that they are happy.

“When they become teenagers, you have to teach them to be responsible and that whatever they do, it has consequences. Mrs Colailago, 47, said it’s important that we are content with what we have and don’t burden ourselves with worry.

“I have taught my children that whatever we have in life, we should be thankful and enjoy our time together as a family,” she said.

More Stories