Father’s prayer answered with job placement under Pacific Labour Scheme

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Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong shares a light moment with Jovesa Vakacokoivalu who applied for employment under the Pacific Labour Scheme. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

To support his daughter to further her studies, Jovesa Vakacokoivalu applied for employment under the Pacific Labour Scheme.

The 51-year-old said getting selected was an answer to all his prayers.

“I am a villager and I was facing problems in financing my children’s education,” he said.

“My second eldest daughter was studying at the University of the South Pacific and because I couldn’t cater to her bus fare and other expenses, she had to pull out during the pandemic.”

The father of five said the COVID-19 pandemic had severely affected his income and his ability to provide for the family.

“I applied for this scheme with only one aim, which was to support my family.

“I heard a lot about it and during COVID-19 the hardships that I faced as a farmer really drove me to apply.

“I sell my vegetables in the Nausori market, but when the virus hit Fiji and containment borders were set up, I couldn’t sell and earn any money.

“So we ate whatever was grown and sometimes depended on the things from the sea.”

Mr Vakacokoivalu will work in the field of horticulture in Australia.

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