Being the eldest comes with responsibilities

By Ilia L. Likou and Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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Peti Laulu 17,  of Vaitele Tai.

Peti Laulu 17, of Vaitele Tai. (Photo: Ilia L. Likou)

Sacrifices are a must when it comes to family. 

That is the motto Peti Laulu lives by, when it comes to taking care of his mother and younger siblings. 

At the age of 17, Peti is already working and providing financial assistance.

“Being the eldest, means it’s your responsibility to take care of the family especially when the head of the family is no longer in the picture,” he said. 

The Village Voice met up with Peti when he just got off from work and was walking home. 

“My parents split in 2012 and I was only 15. I was in year 11 but had to quit school and look for a job to provide for my family. To be honest, school was a bit too much for me, so it was a win-win situation for me. 

“My mother has never worked her whole life and so I was not going to let her work. “I had to man up and be the man of the house and so every Friday, once I get my pay, my mom gets all of it,” he said. 

Peti said that having little or something, nothing at all, makes you appreciate the small things like just being able to provide for your family. 

“I don’t make much but knowing that my mom and my family depend on me, that is my motivation right there.... that is why I work hard to make sure my family gets food on the table, water and electricity. 

“Other people think that I’m too young to be working, but I don’t really consider what they say. 

“At the end of the day, I’m the one that the family depends on and what people say won’t feed my mom and siblings. “So as long as I’m employed, I will continue to do my duty and that is to take care of my mother and siblings. 

“I make sure my brothers and sister attend school, pay for their school fees and give them what they need and just seeing my mother happy and not frustrated, that’s my goal,” said Peti. 

The 17-year-old is into carpentry but he’s currently working for a tent rental company. 

“I’m looking for a carpentry opportunity, that is what I’m good at and its what I love to do, but I’ve settled for the tent rental company so I can provide for my family,” said Peti. 

The young carpenter can be reached at 766-3326, if you want to offer him a job in his field.

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