Mary Joseph Sapeta: A step closer to her dream.

Mary Joseph Sapeta with her certificate after the Prestige Caregivers Academy graduation at the Metro gym hall in Suva. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Rotuma lass Mary Joseph Sapeta has a desire to one day join the scores of workers who have gone abroad to help support their families.

However, she is interested in working in a very specific field, one she holds near and dear to her heart – caring for others, especially the vulnerable, elderly and infirm.

Sapeta recently got the chance to get first-hand experience of what caregiving was like when she took up a short course in basic caregiving offered by the Prestige Caregivers Academy.

Last week, she was one of the 79 Fijians who graduated with a certificate in basic caregiving, a feat, she says, will be a step towards achieving a greater goal in the future.

Being born and brought up on the island of Rotuma, a large part of her childhood was influenced by her parents.

“I finished my primary and high school studies in Rotuma and I came here to stay with my grandparents in Suva to finish my studies while my parents lived on the islands,” she said.

“Joining this caregiving program was a last-minute decision.

“Nevertheless, I am really impressed with the program.

“That’s why I came to join this two-week course to help my parents.”

She said as her parents continued to age, she wanted to put more effort into her education so she could go abroad, to either Australia or New Zealand, and work there.

According to Sapeta, the credentials she recently received would help her look after her family in the future and have a stable source of livelihood.

While the course itself was basic, she said it was a great learning experience and a capacity building opportunity.

“I learnt a lot in two weeks because the way they (instructors) treated us was very nice. “It was good to learn how to look after our parents when they are old.

“We know how to carry them and how to feed them, among other things.”

Sapeta says more people should consider learning basic caregiving as it is a chance to learn how to care for the elderly and vulnerable in one’s family, community and society.

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