Sam on the streets

By Ilia L Likou ,

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 HELPING OTHERS AND HIS FAMILY: Young Sam.

HELPING OTHERS AND HIS FAMILY: Young Sam.

“I still believe that when I do good to others, I’ll get something in return,” said 16-year-old, Sam Fa’apito from Aele.

Young Sam is a child vendor.

To earn money for his family to survive every day, he helps customers to push their trolleys and carry their shopping from one of the supermarkets at Vaitele.

“I am not really allowed to do this here, but I think the fastest way to earn money is when you help people,

 “I started when I was seven and I did this when I dropped out from school in Year 5. My family depends heavily on me for money,” he said.

“Back in the day, I washed car tyres until the shop owner near Bluebird Lumber at Vaitele told me to go somewhere else.

“That’s why I ended up in front of this supermarket. I want to provide for my family; the little I earn from doing this, I give it all to my father,

“I’m doing this job and if I get something in return, great, if I don't, great.

“This morning many people gave me money because I’ve helped them carry their shopping,

For Sam, the easiest way to earn money is to always be on the street.

“What I am doing now can make a big difference for me and my family. No matter what, at least I have something like $2 every day, this really helps.”

Some days are particularly unpleasant.

“One woman told me to go and find a job. No one seems to care. People just pass by me every day with mad expressions on their faces. That tells that they really want to hit me.

“It happens all the time.”

However other days provide hope. 

“An old man who I helped yesterday by carrying his bag of rice, he gave me ten tala. 

“Still, many people judge me, but they don't really know anything about me. 

“I want them to help me, but not to judge me.

“"It's a daily fight for survival and sometimes I do feel like just giving up.”

 

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