Woman struggles to feed children

Nunia Vakadranu at her home in Naitasiri. She struggles to put food on the table for her family. Picture: VILIAME RAVAI

After her husband abandoned their family five years ago, Nunia Tareguci Vakadranu was left to fend for their five children alone.

She said her daily struggle to put food on the table worsened over the past two years when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Fiji.

“I’ve got three sons still schooling and my only source of income used to be selling produce at the Suva Municipal Market,” the 42-year-old Gusuisavu villager said.

“One of my sons is a Year 11 student at Muainaweni College, one is in Year 6 and one in Year 5 in Muainaweni Primary School in Naitasiri.

“One of my sons dropped out from school when he was in Year 10 because he said he wanted to stay home and help me and his siblings. So he helps me on our farm and is my right hand man at home.”

Ms Vakadranu said the more than four months of COVID-19 restrictions has made life very difficult for her family.

“I don’t have enough sugar and salt at home but as a mother, I will always try to do something to feed my family.

“We always pray together as a family first thing in the morning and last thing in the afternoon before we go to bed.

“We may not have anything in our cupboard but we are grateful to be alive so we always thank God for bringing us through another day.”

Ms Vakadranu said she and her children had made known their situation to God but they were also living in the hope that Government would come to their aid.

“I can’t even go to the market because of the virus, I fear that I could be exposed to it and might spread it to my children and to my fellow villagers.”

The Ono-i-Lau woman said she was fully vaccinated and ready to cross the border as soon as it opened.

“Selling at the Sawani containment border is not worth it, I am waiting for the opportunity to sell at the Suva market.”

Ms Vakadranu said her constant advice to her children was “work hard and study hard at school, the future is in education.”

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