Grateful mother says thank you Rotary
A mother of eleven from Fasito'o-tai is one grateful woman.
Liaina Togia expresses her gratitude towards the Apia Rotary Club for helping lessen the financial burden for her family by paying her daughter’s university fees.
Liaina is the mother of Usitai Isaako, one of the nine recipients of fully and partially funded scholarships from the Apia Rotary Club for students attending the University of the South Pacific, Alafua Campus.
Ms. Togia told the Samoa Observer that their family cannot afford to pay for their daughter’s school fees.
“We give back the glory and thanksgiving to God for blessing us with people who have hearts to help others,” she said.
She added that her husband and herself are unemployed. They are subsistent farmers.
“Our family depends on our crops and the fish to sell so we can get some form of income and it can never be sufficient to pay for our daughter’s school fees.
“Usitai is the only one out of her siblings to have attended university which is also a pride and joy for all of us who are supporting her to succeed.
“I never thought that we would get an opportunity like this because we are just developing our family by being farmers and fishers.
Ms. Isaako is studying for her Certificate in Library Skills and is also part-timing at the Alafua Campus’s library.
“I thank God because with him I would have never gotten these opportunities," she said. “In all honesty, it is not easy working and attending school because time must be managed wisely.
“Before I was chosen to receive the scholarship, not having enough money to pay the school fees also stressed my mind mentally but now it is like a burden has been lifted.”
The Director of the University of the South Pacific's (U.S.P.) Campus at Alafua, Dr. Joeli Veitayaki congratulated the scholarship recipients.
“Not all parents can bear with the costs of school fees which is why we take our hats off to Rotary for their generous offer of assistance,” he said.
He added that he also grew up with parents who did not have the means to send him to university.
“I was fortunate to get a scholarship and that has brought me to where I am today.”
He also advised the students that with the generous gifts comes great responsibility in ensuring they are used wisely.
The U.S.P. Alafua-based Coordinator for Pacific Technical and Further Education (PacTAFE), Magele Vernon Mackenzie acknowledged the partnership between Rotary and USP PacTAFE.
“The partnership has been ongoing since 2018 but also we want to thank the parents and staff for their contributions.
“Any student can apply and we identify and find the need of those who fit the criteria such as a financial need; the student must be academically sound or smart and potential to do well; and their character.
“We want to grow our students in academia but also in character. They not only represent themselves but also their families, villages and it’s a big responsibility but Apia Rotary makes the final decision.”