Mere’s Garment Job Shaping Her Future
Life in a garment factory is all this single mother has in order to provide for her sickly daughter.
Mere Bobo’s husband died two years ago in Taveuni and his death is still the subject of a case before the court.
Since then the Mark One Apparel’s garment factory worker of 22 years, has been looking after her daughter single-handedly.
Ms Bobo is grateful for every opportunity the company has given her.
This is her story
Coming from a family of 10, she did not have a lot of options to choose from as there were others in the family who also needed attention.
She said: “My parents wanted me to go to our village in Koro to continue my education in the Islands; I did not like the idea. Because there were so many of us in the family, I did not continue my education but just stayed home.
“As for me I like reading. I read just about anything and for the words I don’t understand, I would always go back to the dictionary to find the meaning and that is my hobby. So I was told to take a chance and look for a job.”
Ms Bobo applied at Mark One Apparel and was open about her education background and from that time she never looked back; learning a lot each day.
“I only reached class 8 but I’ve been working here for 22 years now. When I started here, I used to be a bundle girl but I was very interested in being a machinist.
“Whenever any of the machinists would go out for lunch, I would sit and work on some of the waste pieces.”
Climbing up the ranks
Company director Mark Halabe noticed Ms Bobo’s performance and handpicked her to be a supervisor.
“At first I was scared but then he taught me some skills in sewing. I was happy about the position,” she said.
She added getting married and having a daughter did not stop her from going to work.
Ms Bobo mentioned the company had opened up a child care center at that time so it was easy for her because she would bring her child to work every day. Today her daughter is 22 years of age.
When her husband was alive everything was going well. Then life took an unexpected cruel turn. Her daughter contracted this mysterious illness. It brought a lot of pressures on her family.
But she was grateful she had an understanding boss.
Ms Bobo continued: “From the time my daughter was in form six, she started having this sickness which we thought wasn’t very serious.
“We would go for medical checkups but nothing could be found about this illness. So we would take her to get prayed over for healing and as she got sick I would get permission from work to take my daughter to the hospital.
“My husband was always supportive and this was our only child who was in USP for two years but because of her illness, she now has to stay home.”
Her daughter’s illness progressively got worse but she still hasn’t given up hope.
“My job has kept me going to support and provide for my only daughter,” she said.
“I have committed myself to this job because I like it here, the work environment is friendly and our boss is very understanding especially when it comes to family needs.”
Ms Bobo added: “When others hear the word garment factory they think people who work there have nothing in their heads but it is not that. We also do calculations and at the same time we also earn a living.”
Ms Bobo continues to work for her daughter’s wellbeing and anticipates for the best in whatever lies ahead of them.
“When others hear the word garment factory they think people who work there have nothing in their heads but it is not that. We also do calculations and at the same time we also earn a living.”