When Leah Lowonbu finished high school, her goal was to study for a career in the medical field. Instead she found herself dealing with an unexpected pregnancy and raising her daughter alone in a rented one-room apartment.

Little did she know that years later she would be part of a national team serving the nation – not as a doctor, but as a journalist.

“Life was hard,” she says of her time as a young mother.

“I wanted to study but I had other responsibilities.”

With her parents’ support, Leah enrolled in the Vanuatu Institute of Technology (VIT) and completed a diploma in journalism.

After freelancing for the now defunct Vanuatu Independent newspaper, Leah got an internship at the Vanuatu Broadcasting Television Corporation (VBTC) and is now one of the rising star journalists at the national broadcaster.

“I am happy for how everything turned out,” says Leah, who is based in the capital of Port Vila.