Late Jenelyn farewelled

Hundreds gathered at the Reverend Sione Kami Memorial Church this afternoon for the funeral service of the late Jenelyn Kennedy.

Though she was gone too soon, her death was not in vain as it shone a light on the gender-based violence pandemic in the country.

Nearly three weeks after her tragic death, allegedly at the hands of her partner, her body was finally laid to rest at the Nine-Mile cemetery this afternoon.

Jenelyn’s death has brought strangers together and forged alliances throughout the country as people stood together to fight against gender-based violence.

Late Jenelyn was born on the 8th of March 2001. Her life was challenging until her ultimate passing. Her mother from Gulf Province passed away in 2010 when she was only 9 years old while she met her Australian father later in life. She was a teen mother who left behind two toddlers – a three-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter.

Her grandfather Kennedy Karava for the last time, paid his tribute to his granddaughter in their Toaripi language.

“I love you my Naomori (white meri’)”, said Karava.  

Late Jenelyn’s friend Elizabeth Vali, described her as a humble, gentle and kind woman who was loved by her friends and family.

No doubt, the late 19-year-old’s death will be a catalyst for change, pushing citizens and concerned individuals into fighting gender-based violence and especially, making homes safer for women and children.

Jemimah Sukbat