Leila’s story – Overcoming barriers to education

Leila's story in rural Fiji


In the heart of rural Fiji, families face daily challenges including poor access to clean water and sanitation, a lack of basic infrastructure and a high risk of flooding.

This is where most of our work takes place as we partner with families who need support and help them overcome barriers to education to ensure their Girls not only survive but thrive. 

Let us introduce you to Leila, one of the extraordinary individuals we have partnered with in her pursuit of education.

Growing up amidst daily floods and school closures, Leila has faced obstacles that would discourage even the strongest of spirits. Yet, her determination to learn was always within her and her mum could see that she loved school and was doing well despite the challenges she faced. 

She was accustomed to walking long distances, carrying her lunch of roti and curry wrapped in a parcel, and would do whatever it took to get to school every day. 

It used to take her over an hour to walk to school because her family couldn’t afford the private bus fees or the cost of a ‘taxi carrier’ which is basically a large ute which people sit in the back of. But thanks to support from ‘a Girl & her world,’ Leila can now catch the bus and arrive within 20 minutes.

This makes a huge difference to her day and provides her with additional time to study and support her family. 

At school Leila has a passion for geography and art, however, at home she juggles responsibilities far beyond her years.

Leila’s mother suffers from diabetes and a few years ago this was undiagnosed which led to a leg amputation.

So Leila now shoulders the responsibility of caring for her mum and her sister, while also working hard at school. 

From assisting with household chores to helping run a small streetside canteen for additional income, she works hard to keep her family afloat while also dreaming of a better future. 

Amidst the challenges of her daily life, Leila has incredible dreams. She loves learning and understands that finishing high school will open up opportunities for her in the future.

She immerses herself in subjects ranging from maths to English and from geography to home economics.

With the support of our community, we have been able to ensure that Girls like Leila continue to pursue their dreams against all odds.

Stay tuned for more updates on Leila’s journey and how you can make a difference in her life and the lives of many others like her.

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