WITH all the hardships Makitalena Asenaca Dautei faced as a young student, it did not deter her from dreaming big.
Having to leave her parents at the tender age of five and sailing across unfamiliar waters in the salient Kadavu passage, the Naqeledamu lass from Tailevu swiftly adjusted to her new life on the island of Ono, Kadavu.
The challenge of studying in a new environment resulted in Dautei becoming resilient and a good listener – traits that teachers saw as good leadership qualities. Last week the 13-year-old, who has maternal links to Vanuaso Village in Gau, Lomaiviti was inducted as the Natusara Primary School head girl in Kadavu.
Dautei has set her goal this year of scoring the required mark to attend Adi Cakobau School in Sawani, Naitasiri. Born in the Sugar City of Lautoka, Dautei was brought up by her aunt and uncle, Makereta and Vilimoni Saumaki – who supported her wholeheartedly in her journey.
“It was an honour for us to see her being chosen from all the students who are from the three villages here,” Mr Saumaki said.
“To hail from Tailevu and to become the head girl here is a bonus in her upbringing. She (Dautei) has the qualities to become the head girl because at home she listens, she is hard-working and is a well-behaved girl.”
The school located on Ono Island has 60 boarding students. There are five teachers who provide all the teaching support to the 60 students from around Dravuni, Buliya and Narikoso.
“Most students board at the school’s boarding houses,” Mr Saumaki said. “There are five teachers’ quarters housing the teachers and their families here.”
Dautei attended the school from Year 1 to Year 8.