Mahezabeen’s Making A Difference After Enduring Struggles

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SUVA – Mahezabeen Nisha Khan is one of those lucky women who have learnt from past struggles and is making a difference for the sake of the future generation, through the poverty eradication campaign.

Mahezabeen is originally from a farming community in Seqaqa, in Vanua Levu and it was through her struggles as a young girl that has led her to become one of the driving forces in the poverty eradication outreach among schools.

“There are a lot of difficulties from where I came from. There are always problems with the water and power supply.

“Such difficulties are being faced by many in this country and I believe we all can help in many ways to eradicate poverty from our community,” she said.

Financial constraints hindered her parents from sending her for tertiary education, so Mahezabeen had to make sacrifices while a student in order to be awarded the AusAID scholarship which helped her in achieving success in her university studies.

Today, with her stories, she is visiting schools representing UNDP Pacific Centre as a Millennium Development Goal associate and encouraging under privileged students to strive for excellence in their studies.

“My parents couldn’t afford to put me through school because there were five of us, so I had to apply for a scholarship; I got it because I studied very hard in order to get a scholarship.

“It was through education that I was able to get out of that poverty cycle.

“I was able to get a good job, help my family and now I am able to afford my wants and needs and also be able to send my children to school,” she said.

Mahezabeen was also a speaker at the celebration of the International Eradication of Poverty Day at the university last week.

In her speech, she said “Fiji has changed in a number of ways with poverty increasing a great deal”. “Poverty is multi- dimensional.”

She said while visiting schools, she found that poverty was a real phenomenon in schools around the country.