BY JOY OFASIA
ECONOMIC insecurity has led Balbina Lausao to secure full-time employment in the housekeeping services department of Honiara Hotel in Honiara.
Balbina is originated from the remote region of Choiseul province and Shortland Islands in the Western province and has been the longest-serving woman employee of the Honiara Hotel. She initially began her employment career as a house-keeper from 1989 until now (2020).
In the late 1980s, she observed the economic burden upon her employed husband to support their livelihood was way too heavy for himself to handle since he was also very sick at that time.
“I used to be a housewife after I got married to my husband and he was the only one who worked for our family. We used to be a happy family till in the year of 1989 when my husband was forced to retire due to health problems,” she recalled.
Balbina’s husband is from Malaita province and they have two children from their marriage.
She said as a mother I was very concerned as to how we are going to survive because we depended mainly on my husband who was the one who had a job and supported the family.
“It was then when I realized that I had to look for a job and so this was how I started employment at the Honiara hotel doing housekeeping work,” Balbina said.
At that time, it took her a lot of confidence, and commitment to take the challenge of learning many new ideas and skills about her new job as a hotel housekeeper. However, her husband’s years of battling his long-term illness after his retirement came to an end in (year) 2018.
She said to become a widow and trying to raise my two children to have a better education and future was a tough challenge she had to encounter and endure.
“It was very tough for me but I learned to be strong and learned the hard way to overcome my social and economic challenges,” she Balbina said.
Her children are now in their secondary level of education.
“My two children are my only hope for the future, so my job here is now to support them with their fees in school and whatever they will need because I am the only one they have left to help them,” she said.
Balbina encouraged local women or widows in the country, who are going through this kind of situation to be strong and take the risk and responsibility to support their children’s future wellbeing.