Informal waste picking is something not many would think would be able to generate income for them, however, Asinate Lewabeka has been an informal waste picker for 28 years and the money she generates from this has helped put her six children through school and assist with the school needs of her grandchildren.
Lewabeka says many do not think highly of the work that she does, however, this not only helps her make a living for her family but also helps keep our environment clean and also reduce waste as most of what she picks up is sorted and recycled.
Lewabeka says she is particularly proud of the fact that the work she does as a waste picker has greatly assisted the rugby journey of Fijiana 7s bronze medalist Lavena Cavuru.
The 64-year-old says Cavuru faced difficulty getting her parents to support her dream to play rugby and with the little money Lewabeka earned from waste picking, she assisted the bronze medalist in buying her first pair of rugby boots and her travelling expenses to and from training.
Lewabeka says since Cavuru broke into the national team and then went on to win bronze at the Olympics, her family continues to support the Fijiana star.
She says her faith in God and her perseverance to continue to work in waste recycle has and continues to greatly assist her family adding that one of her six children has also taken up work as an informal waste picker.
Today Lewabeka is one of 14 women who will be part of a Wellness and Literacy Program supported by the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
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