I first met Kajul as a shy little thing hiding behind her mother’s skirt about 8 years ago. I was on a Red Cross trip driving around Fiji doing health promotion in rural communities and met up with Urmila (featured on our ‘about’ page), who was a Red Cross volunteer. We went to her home and met her family and I remember noticing that Kajul was about the same age as my daughter Giorgia. Since then I have met her a few times but mainly known her through her amazing mum who is now our go-to woman on the ground. It was lovely to meet and spend some time with Kajul this trip as an older, more confident teenager, with a big smile and soft heart.

Kajul is the youngest of Urmila’s 5 children. Her other children didn’t complete high school or go on to further education as finances were limited…her son left school as a teenager to help support the family. Her older girls are married with little ones and once she has been able to lay a concrete slab for a more stable house, her son, who will continue to live at home, will be married and will start a family also.

I remember when Urmila asked me to help her find support for Kajul’s schooling, almost like telling me a secret, she said ‘This one is smart, she wants to be a doctor’. So Kajul was the first girl we supported and the inspiration for A Girl & Her World.

We went to her school on Monday, met her favourite teachers and saw her in her uniform, proud and beaming with her lovely plaits!

She’s pictured here signing her agreement with us that she will work hard and honour the opportunity she is being given. I have absolutely no doubt that she will. Beautiful to make a connection with people like this….I loved watching her run after Kym as we were leaving the school and give her a flower she had picked. What a privilege to invest in the future of Dr Kajul!

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Warmly,
Jane

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