Mauke Island, Cook Islands
My name is Eimoana Taia. I grew up in a family of four. My parents were my role models. Especially my mum. Her unique skills and her passion for flowers and planting is one of the things I admire most about her. It inspired me today to follow in her footsteps.
Our life at home revolved very much around church, community and activities. I became a member of the church in different ways: through the Girl Guides, sunday school and Christian Youth. I became an Ekalesia which means I can deliver sermons. I do this usually twice a month. This has really empowered me in public speaking.
I went to primary school in Mauke. When I was 14 years old and at college, I was selected for a scholarship to go and study in Hawaii. The program in Hawaii was for nine months. At first two weeks felt like nine months but at the end nine months didn’t feel long enough. I came back to go to college in Rarotonga. I never completed my final year of college because at the time I thought my social life was more important.
I went back to Mauke and was unemployed. I competed in inter-islands sports competitions and I went to workshops on health, youth and women.
In 2007, I met my soul-mate-Kurauru. In 2010, we got married and we continue to live on Mauke. Since then, I’ve been involved in flowers and in planting. I’ve also got very involved in arts and crafts such as dying ‘pareu’ or cloth. This brings in an income and I love doing it.
In 2011, I became President of the Youth Council. We support and contribute to all the island’s activities. In 2012, I went back to school. I began studying at the University of the South Pacific. I plan to complete my certificate in management.
I think I really see the needs of young people on our islands and our views aren’t always represented. Maybe one day, I can represent them. Maybe a young Island Counsellor can do good things for the young people of our island.