“The main difference between life in the rural village and life in town is that it is so peaceful out here,” 63-year-old Malia Savea from the village of Falevao tells the Village Voice.
“Everything is stress free. The other thing is that we work hard to get money through our plantation; that’s what we do to look after our family and the church.
“Aside from that, another difference between the villages and Apia is that we have no problems. No one here starts trouble and the peace is kept.” What about poverty; is there any form of poverty in Samoa?
“Yes there is poverty in Samoa but if every individual person or family works together then things will be all right,” says Malia.
“Yes families may have some employed members but it is hardly ever enough. There isn’t enough money for everything when they receive their pay. Take my family for example, we have one family member who is employed and there are others who help the village back here. “But it’s not every week we receive that help. With everything that needs to be done out here, the money from that one employed family member, isn’t enough.
“We have church commitments and village obligations to take care of. We also have children to provide for. These are the things that take most of our money.”
Other than that; why do you think there might be poverty in Samoa?
“People live in poverty if they do not work,” says Malia. “Maybe they rely too much on people overseas rather than going out and making their own money. It is like that saying; rely on your own works and your own strength to take care of your family.”
Some have said that village obligations and church commitments are the cause of poverty?
“Every village goes through that,” says Malia.
“There are many things going towards the village and the church but for me, I believe that you should do what you can do.
“We in Samoa believe in serving; the only thing I can say about poverty in Samoa is that it happens to those who just sit around.
“There is a lot of money in Samoa to look after ourselves. But those who do nothing, won’t get anything.
“It’s not like overseas where if you do not work then you won’t get money to pay different bills. We live freely in Samoa. “