Stroke Survivor Sets Example for Youth


‘Life will always move on and we should never give up on trying to achieve our dreams.’

This was the sentiment made by 45-year-old Vitila Vuniwaqa a former flight attendant with the then Air Pacific who suffered from a stroke in 2010 and now owns a 12-acre farm in Nadi.

Ms. Vuniwaqa provided a piece of her land for a climate change project organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Forests.

With over $90,000 of investment in the property situated in Wailoko Road, Sabeto, Ms. Vuniwaqa highlighted how she had struggled to get where she is today.

“In February 2010, I was running errands after coming back from the company office and was at my friends place in Naisoso when I collapsed,” Ms. Vuniwaqa said.

Life after she collapsed was a struggle for her as she learned how to walk again but she managed to pull through after she kept telling herself that she would do something with her life.

“I was determined to do something and the first thought was looking to grow some organic produce.”

“I bought this land for $8000 in January 2015 with two honey bee boxes to begin my business.”

She later planted cassava, lemon grass, lemons, water-melons, kumala, passionfruit, pineapples and Rotuman coconuts.

“I acknowledge the Government for providing Fijians like me with opportunities to be able to grow our local business. I had heard about the climate change project during a workshop and I offered my piece of land because I knew it would help me in the future.”

“I also want to encourage every Fijian out there that there is always light at the end of the tunnel and we should never give up when times get tough.”

The launch of the Youth Action for Climate Change at Ms. Vuniwaqa’s farm enabled Fijian youths to plant more than 200 sandalwood trees.

Speaking at the event, Minister for Youth and Sports Parveen Kumar acknowledged Ms. Vuniwaqa for stepping out and addressing the issues of climate change.

“Every Fijian can do this! Fiji is taking the lead on cli-mate change and every Fijian youth can also make a difference. So be a climate warrior yourself. Help save Fiji and help save our precious Planet Earth.”