Humble beginnings of a village businesswoman

By Vatapuia Maiava and Sarafina Sanerivi ,

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WE STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM NOW WE’RE HERE: Lagilagi Taisia Lafaele, 33, from the village of Faleula-Uta preparing some barbeque at her small village shop.

WE STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM NOW WE’RE HERE: Lagilagi Taisia Lafaele, 33, from the village of Faleula-Uta preparing some barbeque at her small village shop.

We all know that without struggles, there won’t be progress.

Lagilagi Taisia Lafaele, from the village of Faleula-Uta, shares her story of struggles and triumphs. Aged 33, she admits that her family had a rough start but through hard work and prayer, she was able to pull her family out of poverty.

Lagilagi runs a small, village store in her area and says that life is not easy.

“The one thing I know in this life is, if you rely on the strength of others then you will get nowhere in life,” she told the Village Voice.

“Life in Samoa isn’t easy but when things get hard then I call on the Lord for help. He is a faithful God. I praise the Lord that we are able to build a house and provide for our family every day.”

“We actually started building our house this year and all glory goes to God, he gave us the strength because if we just sat around, then our life would have never changed.”

She explains that from living off the ocean, she managed to turn herself into a small business owner through determination.

“We actually had a rough start in life and my family was in search of land we could call our own,” Lagilagi said.

“If our search for land failed then our plan would have been to use some of our family’s land to build our life on. Once we found this piece of land, we were so grateful to the Lord.”

“We didn’t have much but we started to work hard and earn a little bit of money from what we caught from the sea.”

“We didn’t have enough money to put our children through school so I told my family that we needed another option to make money. I convinced them to send me to Samoa Small Business Development project (S.S.B.D.).”

With her small store, Lagilagi knew that she could develop even more so she continued to pursue her dream.

“Once I had the means to start my business from S.S.B.D. I started by first selling pancakes and loose cigarettes,” she said.

“I stayed true to that business and it then developed into a small shop. I sold sugar, tinned fish, flour and other small products I knew were really needed in my area.”

“I started with only 10 items in the shop and from that, I cleared my loans and I thank the Lord for that. Now you can see how far we have come with the house and our village shop.”

“I never forget to always give thanks to the Lord for everything he has done for me.”

Her advice to Samoa is to set goals and then make the journey with the Lord by your side.

“Every person has their own talents and they should always pursue what comes natural to them,” Lagilagi said.

“Ever since I was young, I always aimed to be a businesswoman and now here I am. Set your goals and you will make it big in life.”

“My family was poor and we really did struggle; now we are out of that through the grace of the Lord who gave us the strength.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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