With the minimum wage remaining at $2.40, it’s hard not to complain when you receive under $100 after a long week at work.
And when you throw the high cost of living into the mix, the struggle only gets worse.
Arona Mosi, from the village of Faleula, says that after being paid only $60 a week, the money doesn’t go very far. Desperate measures had to be taken to take care of his family and that’s when he decided he needs to go back to his plantation.
“When you stopped by, I was just getting ready to go back to my plantation,” Arona told the Village Voice. “Every time I prepare to go out every day, I always keep in mind that I am doing this all for my family. I do this because when I look at the cost of living, I realise that my family will surely suffer if I just sit around.
“I am sure many can agree with me that these days are no longer easy. If people’s foreheads don’t sweat then they and their families will go hungry.”
Arona explains that he doesn’t like complaining about his pay but you have to take a realistic approach to things.
“I have a job right now but I only get paid $60 a week,” he said.
“I work from Monday to Friday and that’s the money I make. I don’t mind how much pay I get because the only important thing is that I get something to help with everything at home.
“But realistically speaking, the money I make isn’t enough to cover everything my family needs daily, just like I said before, goods are getting a bit expensive nowadays.”
And with the little he earns, Arona says that he can’t really afford to save up for future plans.
“It’s funny because once I receive my pay; I will only get to look at it for a brief moment before it’s all gone again,” he said.
“It’s hard to get the money and then try and save some for my family’s future needs. That’s where the plantation comes in; it provides a little extra to fill a few of the gaps.
“Wages people get is just not enough so I thought to myself one day that I should return to the plantation so that it can help my family a little more.”
And with new crops on the way, Arona’s excitement grows.
“This is an exciting time for me because I just started planting a bunch of banana trees as well as some yams,” he said.
“Selling these crops will go a long way for my family and it will even help put my children through school. I actually prefer earning money from the plantation to being employed.
“Not only does it provide some food for the family, when we sell the crops, we earn a bit more money.”