UN Award For Fijian Woman Peacekeeper



“A woman can do anything as long as she puts her heart and soul into it.”

These were the words of an emotional 24-year-old Republic of Fiji Military Force’s (RFMF) soldier Private (Pte) Maria Bogi who is currently serving under the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) banner in Golan Heights, Syria.

Pte Bogi was among 10 soldiers and the only female who recently received the UN’s Force Commander’s Commendation award this year. The award is only given to soldiers with actions that are considered well above the call of duty and significantly improves the performance of the Mission. “I did not expect to hear my name called out among the other men and I am truly honoured to receive it,” an emotional Pte Bogi said. The 24-year-old who hails from Kanakana, Tunuloa, Cakaudrove in Vanua Levu described her experience while serving as a memorable one as it was her first.

“When I was enlisted to become a soldier I did not imagine that one day I would be receiving such an award and today I am grateful and I acknowledge my family for their support back home.” “I grew up with my grandparents and while I was still in camp for recruitment my grandmother passed away and she has always been one of my biggest supporter. Today I honour her while receiving this award.” Being the second eldest of five siblings, Pte Bogi said that nothing came easy and has encouraged all women out there to “always accept a challenge even if it is in a male dominated field, always know that we women can also do anything”.

“Being in a male dominated field I have always told myself that I will never give up and will always complete any task given to me even in this field of work. We women should always have a positive attitude towards these things as we also play a major role in making positive changes around us. “I call on all women out there to never give up on your dreams and to always work towards what you want in life because one day you will achieve it.”

Meanwhile, the Fijian soldiers of the Fiji Battalion Six in Syria were also acknowledged for their hard work during their medal presentation officiated by UNDOF Force Commander Major-General Shivaram Kharel.