Eddy Uluiwao :
My name is Eddy Uluiwao and I am doing a 3-year Diploma of Nursing degree at the Solomon Islands National University. I am in in my 3rdYear of training. In 2015 I did a Foundation Science course at the University of the South Pacific, so I could qualify to study Nursing. In 2017 I started my Nursing Diploma. I was able to struggle to pay for the first Semester but since then I have not been able to pay my university fees and it is now 2019. Recently I nearly lost my future when I was advised to by the university administration to leave and not to return to classes until I pay balance of fees owing. I was distraught knowing that it would be an impossibility for my family or myself to find such money. This amount was 2 years of university fees totaling over $34,800 SBD. I tried to ask for Solomon Islands Government three times for assistance but unfortunately not successful. I strived to keep up my studies praying and hoping for help. Subsequently my classmate, who is sponsored by SIEP, informed me about the SIEP project and was able to contact Trevor Wallace, the manager. With God’s given heart I was able to have a conversation with Trevor about my problem. Although Trevor then made no promises, he said he would try and raise the funds. Soon after that my prayers were answered when Trevor informed me there was enough funds to bring my university fees up to date. My Nursing career was saved.
In my family there are my parents, 4 sisters and myself. My parents are subsistence farmers and we have survived day to day with little money. My sisters are all school drop outs due to insufficient finances to pay school fees. I am the only one in the family to reach tertiary level however the university fees were beyond my parents’ ability to pay.
I feel that Nursing is a way of me making a difference to humanity. I love Nursing because I care for people and I can use my God’s given hands to heal the sick.
With my entire heart, I cannot express how much I want to thank SIEP and all the generous people who have donated to this worthy cause. Thank you for saving my career.
Theresa Rikoaia :
My story begins on the early morning 28thJanuary 1990, I was born to a father name: Joachim Harimanu and to a mother name Mary Huahau. I was the second born in the family of 5 children. I came from a very poor family in southern part of Malaita Province, Solomon Islands. My dad attended grade seven and my mum even though lack any formal education, she would sell fruits at the market to purchase Soap and Kerosene for our lamp, just to meet insufficiency. As a kid l would run naked in the village due to no clothing. My mum would sell fruits at the market to purchase Soap. If there is little bit extra money left, she would send it over to Honiara by a relative to buy at least a pair of shirt and skirt. When I was 3 years old, I was adopted by my uncle Donation Rai. During that time he just got married to Rosemary Kera’apu that was in 1995. Both were teachers by profession. When it was Christmas l will had a chance to meet with my biological parent. I can still feel the deep loneliness the first night without my biological parents. Life on earth seems to be a sad place to live. I was continuing crying many times at night by myself till dawn and I do not want to tell anyone about my feelings, though these were deeper inner reactions beyond. My challenge in life begun during my childhood, living without a biological parent is really a challenging one. You don’t want to do anything except to think of them, and to experience the worst my adopted parents got separated due to family violence and alcohol and just like any child could share, I just watched in horror, sorrow and lonely, when even, the closest seemed not to be care and loved, but with only self-regard. Despite this, I continued to try my best to grow with something positive.
However, on the other side of the coin the couple who adopted me was very prayerful. At the age of 5 they would teach me how to say my morning and evening prayers. Dad would wake me up checking me if l say my evening prayer before falling asleep. If he find out l do not say my evening prayer, he would sit at my bedside until l said it before he left, even life seemed to be in turmoil. In 1999, at the age of ten, l joined the group called St Theresa of the child Jesus ministry; we purchased soaps, biscuits, kerosene to visit the sick and the old people. That’s when dad will encouraged me to work as a nurse or even a doctor. I was called Hilda at birth but my name change to Theresa, naming after Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Due to the desire of my family to help the sick like my name sake. In 2003 l was finally baptised to be called Theresa Rikoaia as known today.
Doing charity visits at the early age is what set me aside to be inspired to do the nursing program l am currently doing. Do charity visits at that early childhood was quite interesting but scary too especially when it comes to reading bible and sharing in front of the older people. In a male dominated society where women are meant to be seen and not heard, it was quiet challenging but that’s where my leadership spirit begins; l am not afraid to talk in front of elders.
In 2005 to 2009, l attended St Joseph’s Tenaru National Secondary School, and further did my Year 12 at King George IV National Secondary School. In 2006, l was fortunate to join the group called St Vincent De Paul. We would have to visit the sick. 2008, l joined the group called Legion of Mary. Our main weekly apostolic work is to visit and pray with and for the sick in various wards at National referral hospital. I am currently still active legion of Mary member for 11 years up to this date. For my leadership attributes; I also held a leadership post of class captains, team captain, dormitory captain, southern student president, Prefect and Vice- School Head Girl. In 2009, I was selected to be one of the international cultural exchange student to attend Rotary Cultural Exchange Program in Australia for six weeks, that built myself confidence, leadership spirit and to achieve my high goals and dreams in life and never given up, even l am seen below poverty line. In 2012 l was selected to join other 22 students from Solomon to attend an international cultural exchange student to Japan, visiting those who are affected of 2011 Tsunami in Japan to comfort those who are affected of the natural disaster.
Since I know that l was born poor as well that does not stop me to participate in National Event like Miss Solomon competition as Miss Honiara; pageant promoting the rich culture that l have as Melanesian. Those are some leadership attribute that remind me to keep pressing on wards.
However, realizing that l was in a financial embarrassment for my education to continue further, I apply for a part time job as Assistant Chief Accountant at Victory Trading Enterprise from 2013 to 2014. Knowing very well that my salary could not afford for my units at USP, I apply for another job which got good package with Prestige Property development and management. I worked there as an Operational Manager and Supervisor from 2015 to early January 2018. From then I managed to complete my USP foundation programme.
Why l want to become a nurse?
The answer is quite simple; People who are old and helpless need to be cared and loved so as the hopeless, aimless, those who are lonely in their sick bed. To be a nurse is a humble service and is useful for me and my family, relatives, and friends. Taking care with joy is also one aspect I love to present myself with in this service of caring. I strongly believe it is a self-sacrificing call, that l will love to be in life vocation. My parents are getting old and it would be much easier for them if l’ll be able to take care of them as well as other people in need when they are suffering from different diseases. As for me to be a nurse is paramount important because it is all about caring and l wanted to see everybody in a happy mood. Very often l see some nurses treated patient with impatientness attitude that hurt my feelings, because l see every people so precious and priceless and l want to see sick people treated with kindness and gentleness, can ease the pain for quick recovery and mostly they are sons and daughters of God. I discovered and loved to work with qualities like: sincerity, compassion, responsibility, kindness and discipline. And so when good things are done for others that is when my life has a purpose and that purpose is to give full attention to the helpless, and of course the creator of the sick and the hopeless is happy.
These were my stepping stones to do my Nursing studies and training, with the little money that I gained during my work as a registration officer during the last general election, met my first semester fee, therefore 60 percent were paid. On the whole I am forwarding you my humble history of financial constrained and how I tried to keep my education going. Hope these humble sharing has been taken into consideration.