Samoan graduates with degree to become paramedic

By Alexander Rheeney 27 September 2022, 9:20PM

A Samoan woman has graduated with a Bachelor of Health Science in Paramedicine to become the first paramedic in her family.

Cheryl Mataina Fesili, who hails from the villages of Tanugamanono, Papauta, Vaoala and Siumu, graduated from the Auckland University of Technology (A.U.T.) in New Zealand last Monday.

Her decision to study paramedicine was influenced by an incident she witnessed in 2018 when she was on holidays in Samoa, which involved an ambulance and had a big impact on her and her desire to serve the people.

Paramedics are rare in Samoa yet they form a very robust and dynamic first-response work environment in New Zealand and other parts of the world.

Ms. Fesili said she felt honoured and privileged to receive her degree and thanked the Lord for guiding her through a "difficult and often stressful journey" as well as the support of her family and siblings. 

“I thank my number one supporters at home in Samoa, my parents who constantly push us beyond our boundaries and instilling in us to put our faith in the Lord in all that we do," she added.

Currently, she is working part-time in a health clinic whilst she completes her Masters of Nursing Science in 2023 and she ticks the box as part of her dream to return to Samoa to help the people.

“I’m constantly thinking about home because Samoa is where I grew up and I would love to be able to give back to my country and I know that there is limited expertise in the area of paramedicine back home so it would be ideal to return one day and be a part of the health services."

According to the mother of the new graduate, Siligatusa Poiva, they always encourage their children to reach their potential academically and always remember their roots in Samoa.

“We are thankful that the Lord guided Mataina in her pursuit to study Paramedicine which is something she loves to do and we hope that one day, she will put her hard years of education to good use to serve the people of Samoa whether it be in Samoa or in New Zealand," said Ms. Poiva. 

Born and bred in Samoa, Ms. Fesili moved to Auckland at the age of 7 and continued her education there. She is the daughter of Siligatusa Poiva and Faafetai Fesili.

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Education
By Alexander Rheeney 27 September 2022, 9:20PM
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