Monday, September 15, 2008


LIVING to give is an act inspired by many people. Love and patience is portrayed in the life of Jacqueline Wright (pictured), a compassionate woman who has devoted her time and talents to the children of Hilton hostel.

Jacque, as she is commonly known by the children and visitors to the hostel is a caregiver and has been with the hostel for six years. Mrs Wright built her skills at a very young age while assisting her mother, Marion Sorby and George Wright at the Early Intervention and Hilton Special School.

Her mother is a secretary for the Early Intervention School. She is a mother to six children and a grandmother to three beautiful grandchildren who she loves and adores. The 44-year old grew up in the suburb of Raiwaqa and spent most of her life in Suva.

Jacque is caregiver, doctor and saint to the children at the hostel. This is observable in the work she carries out daily including bathing, feeding, cleaning, training the children to do things for themselves, tidying beds, preparing meals, storytelling, singing and the list goes on.

Jacque believes it is important to talk to children in a calm voice and this has become a school policy where children do not get spanked for doing wrong. Instead, they are corrected in a calm and loving tone. "I was trained at a very young age to have love and patience for disabled children, and it has helped me a lot," she said.

"I was brought up by a single parent and it was not easy. I grew up with a lot of challenges.
"I was the youngest of six and I learnt to live with limited resources. My mum would work hard and although finance was tight, mother did not give up and she worked very hard to educate us."
Jacqueline attended primary school at Vatuwaqa and continued her secondary education at DAV College.

She was not keen on arithmetic and furthered her skills at LDS Technical School where she leant shorthand and typing. She married Harry Bentley and after he died in a car accident, she took on the responsibility of looking after their three children. At times, going through the same experience her mother faced became unbearable.

Despite the circumstances, Jacque continued to work hard and was determined to prolong the work her mother had taught her. "My experience growing up with a single mother helped me overcome my own challenges of being a single parent."

"This did not discourage me from achieving my goals in life. I started work at the Early Intervention Centre six years ago and I have never regretted the decision." Jacque received training through Australian Spastic Centre team who conducted a caregiver workshop at the Early Intervention for teachers.

Jacque received a lot of practical experience with children with different disabilities. Apart from caring for children with disabilities; Jacque cares for old people at the hospital on private arrangements and as a house maid.

"Sometimes the challenges of being a caregiver include sleepless nights, but this does not happen often, only when children fall sick. Because I love and enjoy my work, I don't feel the pinch." Her work has opened up employment opportunities overseas and helped express her God given talents.

"Nursing and loving children with disabilities and who have been abandoned by their biological parents is a blessing for me. "I know God will bless me in his own time, for His words say, 'For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future', Jeremiah 29:11. This profession has taught me a lot; especially having being cared for by a single parent and going through the same experience.

"It has enabled me understand that there are more challenges in life that cannot be solved over night. "Life is full of expectation and challenges and this can only be handled with determination.
"I would like to encourage all single mothers that life is not only filled with sorrows, it has joyful ones only if you're determined to experience them.
Most importantly trust in the Lord for strength and wisdom."
Adpted from Fijitimes Online