Students trade bundles of fish in exchange for school bags, uniforms

Five-year-old Manasa Koroivere (left) and cousin brother Maika Toga Vuto, 4, sitting on a boat at the beachfront at Waicoka village, Tailevu. Picture: ATU RASEA

As students around the country start preparing for school tomorrow, two children were trading bundles of fish on the Barter for Better Fiji Facebook page, in exchange for school bags and uniforms.

The two are Manasa Koroivere, 2, and his first cousin Maika Togavuto, 5, of Waicoka Village in Tailevu.

They are currently under the care of their aunt, Ulamila Bigita.

She said she had asked a niece to post the request because she was desperate for help.

The 61-year-old was emotional as she explained how the children came into her care.

She said she had been looking after Manasa since he was an infant, and a month ago Maika was also left with her to care for because of the boy’s family circumstances.

Ms Bigita said she and her husband usually sold fish to earn their living but the past few months had been hard for the family.

“Children are a gift from God and I like taking care of my nephews because they are very obedient and attentive,” she said.

“I opted to ask for quick assistance and so we thought that it would be best to post on the Barter for Better Fiji page.

“We have seen some comments but no one has messaged my niece back to confirm the exchange.”

Despite, this, Ms Bigita said she was optimistic that help for her two nephews would arrive.

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