Meet Johnny Mika from Sataoa.
He is the sixth child of his parents’ seven children.
The Village Voice caught up with Johnny while he was on his way to prepare the fa’apusa for today.
“I’m still in school and this is my usual routine every (Saturday) morning. I have to prepare our family to’ona’i for tomorrow (Sunday),” he told the Village Voice.
“I’m used to it, I mean...I grew up and know to always listen and obey...so every Saturday morning, I have to make sure that I get to the plantation before eight o’clock and prepare everything for our to’ona’i tomorrow.”
Johnny is a student at Safata College.
“I am 17 years old and I have always wanted to do something to help out my family,” he said.
“In my family, we don’t have that much, to be honest, my parents are struggling everyday from trying to budget (money) to make sure that me and my other siblings go to school everyday.
“We only have two employed members of our family, so they are the main source of income (money) to many stuff in my family.”
“I mean we have enough food, we have taro, bananas, and breadfruits everywhere...but when it comes to money then that’s a different story for us, there’s always a need (for money) to buy sugar, salt, coffee....yes, we all need money everyday.”
“Our school fees in school...I think, money is always the problem.”
“On top of school fees, we also have family fa’alavelave and others everyday.... and as I’ve mentioned before my family is no exception.”
His dream is to become a doctor.
“Being a doctor is what I have always dreamed of,” he said.
“The one thing I know right now is that school is very important to achieve this dream of mine.”
“This will be my last year in College and so I want to make sure I get to N.U.S. next year and then graduate from university and get a good job so I can help my parents.”
“There is a saying that goes if there’s a will there’s a way and that’s my belief and it also got me through all these years.”
“To me, I need to work hard in terms of studies as well... my parents want me to succeed and I too want to do well in school to help them in the future.”
He understands that he’s not alone.
“I am willing to work extra hard in my assignments to make sure I reach my goal and I cannot do it alone without the help of God so I truly believe that He will fulfill all my dreams.”
“I also believe that education will help my parents and me to succeed in the future....my father told me that - it requires hard work and we all know that and education is the key to anything in life, and education is everything.”