Fan­tas­tic 5

Vi­sion Fiji hon­ours amaz­ing un­sung heroes among our chil­dren

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - RONEEL KARTHIK

Kin­isimere Babasiga, 13, risked her own life to save a phys­i­cally dis­abled mother and her three-year-old daugh­ter dur­ing the height of Cy­clone Win­ston. The full story of that dra­matic act of courage and com­pas­sion was told pub­licly for the first time yes­ter­day.

It was in­cluded in her ci­ta­tion as one of the five who won the Fiji Chil­dren's Award 2016. She was nom­i­nated by her teacher, Pe­ni­ana Baleiver­ata.

Vi­sion Fuji, a vol­un­teer or­gan­i­sa­tion that ad­vo­cates for chil­dren in Fuji, or­gan­ised the awards.

It seeks un­sung heroes among our chil­dren – young peo­ple who pro­vide ex­tra­or­di­nary ser­vice to their fam­i­lies or com­mu­ni­ties, but re­main un­recog­nised. Kin­isimere is from De­laikuku, Na­mena, Tailevu, is a model stu­dent and pre­fect, at Lawaki Dis­trict School, Tailevu. The other four are:

Rhea S Ku­mar, 13, stu­dent of St Joan of Arc School, Siga­toka. She was nom­i­nated by her teacher, Jo­seva Bola.

Ezra Pick­er­ing, 16, is the only boy in the group and a stu­dent of Xavier

Col­lege in Ba. He was nom­i­nated by his teacher, Jan­nelle Muller.

Reenal Restika Devi, 14, of Labasa. She is a stu­dent of Valelawa Pri­mary School and nom­i­nated by a Sonika Ku­mar.

Ta­marisi Nailasekula, 13, of Qelekuro Vil­lage, Tailevu. She is a stu­dent of Lawaki Dis­trict School and nom­i­nated by her teacher, Pe­ni­ana Baleiver­ata. 7KH IDQWDVWLF åYH KDYH PDGH WKHLU fam­i­lies proud.

Kin­isimere Babasiga

Kin­isimere’s home and other homes in her vil­lages were blown away by Cy­clone Win­ston. While run­ning to stay safety, she no­ticed a phys­i­cally dis­abled mother and her child miss­ing. She went back and found them wedged be­tween the de­bris. As the child cried she worked ac­cord­ing to in­struc­tions from the mother and freed the child and took her to safety. Then she came back for the mother and res­cued her. To­day she lives with her grand­par­ents and the mother and her child. Her grand­mother who was present at the awards pre­sen­ta­tion, Salote Nailolo, could not stop her tears af­ter Kin­isimere was given the award.

She said “I be­lieve in her and I knew she could do it.” Ta­marisi who lost her mum, Sera, dur­ing Cy­clone Win­ston, has been hailed for tak­ing care of her sib­lings.

Ta­marisi Nailasekula

Ta­marisi has nine sib­lings out of ZKLFK åYH DUH VWLOO DW VFKRRO 6LQFH her mother’s death she has as­sumed her re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in run­ning the house or rather the tent that they cur­rently re­side in. Her dad, Pate­mosi Basaga, says, “She is a brave, hard­work­ing and ded­i­cated in­di­vid­ual who be­lieves in her­self.”

Rhea Ku­mar

Rhea has been recog­nised for tak­ing care of her two autis­tic sib­lings with dili­gence and pride. Autism is a con­di­tion that is still not well known in Fiji. But Rhea en­sures that they are ac­cepted, un­der­stood and taken care of.

She is the head girl and leader of her school maths team, a mem­ber of the net­ball team and a top­per in class. Rhea’s mum and dad , Shirleen Ku­mar and Regi­nald Ku­mar said “we are proud of her and be­lieve in her po­ten­tial”.

Ezra Pick­er­ing

Ezra is a ver­sa­tile stu­dent and very tal­ented. He won the Best Or­a­tor award in the Save the Chil­dren na­tional or­a­tory con­test. He also won the best script award at the Kula Film com­pe­ti­tion, sil­ver medal at the Coke Games de­spite a throat in­fec­tion. He took the ini­tia­tive to clean the school and or­gan­ised re­guregu when two stu­dents lost their moth­ers.

Ezra says “it is an in­cred­i­ble feel­ing and any­one can achieve this by go­ing a step fur­ther and mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in peo­ple’s lives”. Alice Pick­er­ing, Ezra’s mother was hum­bled and very proud of him. She said that he was a young, VHOaeHVV ER\ ZKR EURXJKW ODXJKWHU into peo­ple’s lives.

Reenal Restika Devi

Reenal takes care of his fa­ther who suf­fers from par­tial paral­y­sis and his sickly. She is the only child and helps out in the fam­ily farm of wa­ter­melon and peanuts, the only source of cash for her fam­ily. “Meet­ing the peo­ple, build­ing strong re­la­tions , hard­work and dis­ci­pline are the core val­ues of my life,” Reenal said. Her dad, Ra­jesh Deo Ma­haraj, said: “I feel very happy for my daugh­ter and her achieve­ment. Speak­ing at the Awards, Min­is­ter for Women, Chil­dren and Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion Mere­seini Vu­ni­waqa said that it was a great sat­is­fac­tion for her to see ini­tia­tives like this.

Photo: Vil­imoni Va­ganalau

Vi­sion Fiji’s 2016 Fiji Chil­dren’s Award re­cip­i­ents (from left) Kin­isimere Babasiga, Rhea Ku­mar, Ezra Pick­er­ing, Ta­marisi Nailasekula, Reenal Restika Devi in Suva yes­ter­day.

Photo: Vil­imoni Va­ganalau

Vi­sion Fiji’s 2016 Fiji Chil­dren’s Award re­cip­i­ents with their par­ents and nom­i­na­tors in Suva yes­ter­day.

Photo: Vil­imoni Va­ganalau

The Fiji Chil­dren’s Award re­cip­i­ents with the Min­is­ter for Women, Chil­dren and Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion, Mere­seini Vu­ni­waqa, in Suva yes­ter­day.

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