Eshina, a 23-year-old from Erromango and Tanna in Vanuatu, is a proud graduate of CARE’s Young Women’s Leadership Program.
Eshina’s start in life was not easy. At just a few months old, she was adopted by her now late uncle. He was a teacher at that time, and so his family, including Eshina, had to move from place to place depending on which school he was allocated to.
When Eshina’s uncle passed away, life for the family became tougher as her aunty did not work. Eshina was able to continue attending school for a while, but eventually, financial pressures on the family forced her and her cousins to drop out. She accepted her circumstances and did her best to support her aunty.
Eshina later went back to live with her biological father and, with his help, was able to resume her education. However, a few years later, her father passed away too, leaving her with no one to support her and cover the cost of her education. A teenager on her own, and heartbroken by another loss, Eshina dropped out of school again, sacrificing her education so that her younger siblings could continue. While reflecting on losing her father and uncle, Eshina shared, “At the end of the day, you’re the only one that’s got your own back.”
“At the end of the day, you’re the only one that’s got your own back.”
From there, Eshina sought opportunities to work and develop skills that enabled her to support herself and her family. She first worked as a tour guide at Reef Vanuatu Zoological, a wildlife conservation and education centre. Then after a year there, she was accepted into the six-month Ready for Work program with Youth Challenge Vanuatu, which was followed by a position at Youth Challenge Vanuatu.