Samoan girl Fiji school's new head girl
A Samoan girl, Tafaoganiu Kuiniselani Elisara, has been selected as the Head of Suva Christian Community High School (S.C.C.H.S.) in Suva, Fiji.
Tafaoganiu is the eldest daughter of Leituala Kuiniselani Toelupe Tago and Gasū Siaki Elisara from the villages of Malie and Moata’a.
Her family left Samoa in January 2015, when her mother, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, resigned to take up a role at the Pacific Community (S.P.C.) where she is currently the Regional Director for Polynesia
.The 16-year-old’s family and mother then left New Caledonia in 2017 and she began to attend the S.C.C.H.S.
Prior to leaving Samoa, Tafaoganiu and her older brother Vaitoa Elisara were both enrolled at the Ah Mu Academy at Lotopa.
Tafaoganiu is a science student who aspires to become a Paediatrician and continues to push herself to become better academic wise.
She says she draws inspiration from one of her favourite Bible verses, Matthew 20:26: “Whoever wants to be leader among you, must be our servant.”
She told the Samoa Observer via email that being a school captain or head girl came with many responsibilities and opportunities.
“I feel very honoured to have been chosen especially since I am the youngest of my class,” she said.
She also said that she did not expect being a head girl to be easy but that she will be dedicated to the role of leading her school’s students down the right path.
Tafaoganiu said that, with the exception of her time in New Caledonia where she had to learn French and attend a French school, she has faced no such challenges in Fiji.
“We had an excellent upbringing where my brother and I both learned to speak and write in both Samoan and English growing up that when we moved to Fiji, language was never a barrier for us,” she said.
“We also picked up some Fijian along the way so that we can understand and speak a bit of Fijian as well.
“As the new head girl of S.C.C.H.S., I aspire to accomplish great things. I want to be a role model to these girls, especially the juniors.”
She wants to set a good example for the students and also help them with their walk with God as students of a Christian school.
“I love the fact that God is included in everything. Every morning we have devotions to praise Him for another new day,” Tafaoganiu said.
“Before every break time we always say a prayer to thank Him for helping us in the remaining classes, and at the end of the day we thank Him once again for helping us throughout the day.
“We also have Bible verses and character traits in our textbooks. In life, we tend to leave God out but being a student here really reinforces the importance of having Him in our lives and it also showed me that even at school, we can continue to uphold our Spiritual connection with our Heavenly Father.”
Tafaogainu said that she loves that her school system promotes and reinforces self-learning and discipline towards our studies which is what continues to push me to do better.
Her mother said that she was extremely grateful for the blessing.
“We are in a foreign country and the best you can hope for is for your children to excel in school,” Leituala said.
She hopes that her daughter can be her true to herself; “that she continues to be the kind person that she is; and that she will excel in what she aspires to be, in accordance with the Lord’s plans for her.”
“We will be here for the next 12 months and depending on my employment contract we could be here for longer or not.
“My husband and son have moved back to Samoa as my son is doing his Foundation year at National University of Samoa and so it’s just the two of us in Fiji now.
“We want to acknowledge the prayerful support of our families, our friends, and loved ones not just in Samoa but also across the globe. We also convey our appreciation to our friends and colleagues in Suva, who have all helped and supported us in one way or another along our journey here in Suva.”