As the world gears up for International Women’s Day (IWD), the Vanuatu Daily Post proudly launches a revealing series of interviews celebrating the remarkable women shaping our communities.

Meet Lavinia Joseph, a beacon of resilience and dedication, whose story echoes the triumph of countless mothers across the archipelago.

At 36, Ms Joseph stands tall as a single mother of three, balancing her role as a cleaner at Tana Russet Plaza with unwavering commitment to her children. Originating from Efate Island, she portrays the spirit of independence, her steadfast focus firmly fixed on her family and her work.

Despite navigating the challenges of single parenthood without the support of her children’s father, Ms Joseph has nurtured her family with steadfast determination. Her eldest, a 19-year-old university student, alongside her 15-year-old and 8-year-old sons both attending school in Port Vila, bear testament to her enduring love and sacrifice.

Joseph’s journey in the hospitality sector spans years of dedication, including stints in various resorts before her venture to the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) program. Upon her return, she found her place at Tana Russet Plaza, where her dedication to ensuring the health and hygiene of customers, especially children, shines through her work.

For the hardworking mother, every day is fuelled by the profound love she holds for her children. “My priority is my children, second one is my job…because of my job, I am able to put my kids to school,” she affirms, embodying the resilience of Vanuatu’s mothers who uphold their families with unwavering strength.

Despite the absence of paternal support, Joseph finds solace in the unwavering backing of her parents, a source of gratitude amidst life’s trials.

Ms Joseph advises mothers to prioritise their children above all else. She cautions against excessive socialising, emphasising that activities like consuming kava and alcohol do not constitute a fulfilling life.

As IWD approaches, let us honour and celebrate the unsung heroines like Lavinia Joseph, whose everyday sacrifices enrich our communities and inspire future generations.