Grandma stretches income from selling candies to feed seven children

Sovaia Rarawa, 68, with her grandson Sekope Domolevu, 19, at Qauia settlement in Lami. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Sovaia Rarawa is a 68-year-old grandmother who takes care of five of her seven grandchildren who attend primary school.

Yesterday she prepared fried noodles and rice for their lunch, bought from the little income she earns from selling candies.

A staple for the family is boiled taro leaves.

She said she was forced to take care of her seven grandchildren after they were abandoned by their father when their mother died of cervical cancer in 2014.

Originally from Namalata on Kadavu, she lives with her grandchildren in a corrugated iron house at Qauia settlement, Lami.

“So, since then they have been under my care,” Ms Rarawa said.

“With the school starting I am now really worried about their lunch and bus fares to school.”

She said raising seven children was not an easy task, especially when the only source of income was the monthly $100 she received from social welfare.

“It is not enough to feed seven children in a month, the money finishes within days.”

One of her grandchildren lives with a relative as he attends Lautoka Special School.

Ms Rarawa said she made a commitment to her husband on his death bed that she would do all she could to look after the children.

“One thing I am happy about is that I have never seen my grandchildren complain about their school lunches.

“Whether we have plain rice for breakfast, lunch or dinner, they would never utter any word to tell me that they didn’t like what I prepared.”

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