Or­gan­is­ers say sto­ries told were “mov­ing”.

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - MERE SATAKALA Edited by Naisa Koroi


Surviving the de­struc­tion of Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Win­ston ended up a blessing in dis­guise for Cema Malumalumu, 16, of Koro High School. The Year 11 stu­dent was re­lo­cated to Lautoka Mus­lim Col­lege af­ter Win­ston de­stroyed her school, home and vil­lage Nav­aga. The teenager was yes­ter­day named one of the win­ners of the New Zealand High Com­mis­sion 2016 Fiji sec­ondary school es­say com­pe­ti­tion. She was pre­sented a Cer­tifi­cate of Dis­tinc­tion, which in­cluded a lap­top and a tro­phy. In her es­say ti­tled ‘Cy­clone Win­ston’ Cema wrote about her ex­pe­ri­ence as she wit­nessed the de­struc­tion of her vil­lage, the men and women who were in­jured or died, and as­sis­tance that came later. “That Satur­day, as me and the other chil­dren ran to the church to take shel­ter as my house be­gan to col­lapse from the heavy wind and rain, I thought I was go­ing to die,” Cema said. At this point she be­gan to cry re­call­ing the or­deal that would change her life. “The only thing that my fa­ther, who was the church trea­surer, re­minded me when he told me to run to­wards the church, was to keep the church money that I took with me,” she said. Cema and her fam­ily be­lieves her life was spared be­cause they had guarded the church money well. Her mother, Salome Malumalumu, be­ing sep­a­rated for seven months, came in from Koro to wit­ness the event. “I’m just so happy for her and we just thank God for her achieve­ment,” Ms Malumalumu said. She was ac­com­pa­nied by Cema’s teach­ers from the Lautoka Mus­lim Col­lege, and vice prin­ci­pal of Koro High School Salote Naioro­sui, who was also given a cheque of $1000 to as­sist the school. The other dis­tinc­tion win­ner was Year 12 stu­dent, Ratu Manoa Roko­tavaga, of Jai Narayan Col­lege in Suva. His es­say re­flected on the dev­as­ta­tion of Queen Vic­to­ria School. “This year’s com­pe­ti­tion gave stu­dents a chance to write about their ex­pe­ri­ences of cy­clone Win­ston,” said Deputy High Com­mis­sioner of New Zealand, Amanda Ver­coe. She said this year’s en­tries were more re­al­is­tic. She thanked the sup­port of the 57 schools that took part, the teach­ers, par­ents and guardians. One of the judges, Sa­ten­dra Singh, who flew in from New Zealand, said many stu­dents who took part used the writ­ing process as a heal­ing de­vice sur­round­ing the cy­clone. “The stu­dents’ writ­ings were mov­ing and the stan­dard of the com­pe­ti­tion was re­ally high this year,” Mr Singh said.

Photo: New Zealand High Com­mis­sion

Front third from left: Cema Malumalumu of Koro High School with other prize win­ners.

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