Niutolo shares family’s struggles

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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LIFE IS HARD: This is a photo of a rundown shack situated in Sinamoga belonging to Niutolo Toleafoa catering for his eight family members.

LIFE IS HARD: This is a photo of a rundown shack situated in Sinamoga belonging to Niutolo Toleafoa catering for his eight family members.

Imagine this. 

You’re living in a rundown shack with eight people, two of whom are a toddler and an infant. 

Coupled with that is no proper water supply, with struggles to collect water from the dam day in and day out. 

This is Niutolo Toleafoa’s reality

The 46-year-old is unemployed and lives in Sinamoga.

Niutolo’s main concern is the welfare of the children they live with.

There is a stream flowing next to her house, which most of the time affects their walk way and creates mud pools around their home.

Life is hard for them.

“We live in a leased land and we have to pay it every month. This land is not ours and yet at the end of the day, we are still trying and we need help.” 

“We all try to fit in this small house. I have my daughter and her husband with their newborn child, my niece and her child and me, my partner and our youngest daughter.”

“All these wood and everything that you see we have used for the house was from our other relative that we first moved together here.” 

“But since there were so many of us, we decided to move here. They have their own kids as well living with them. So we wanted to give them some space.”

“We are really poor and looking at the positioning of the house, there is nothing more that we could do, we just wanted to have a free life.”

She explained: “We have moved away from our families because we wanted a free life. Having family arguments and problems with other family members, it is better to just move away and start our own.”

“Being separated from them allows us to just be free from all the problems that we encounter on the daily basis.”

“Despite living in this kind of house at least we have our own peace of mind. I don’t know maybe someday we will develop a better home.”

On their water supply she shared: “Not every day the water would come on, the water supply that we use is not from the Government, we are using the dam.”

“We just boil water all the time just to be safe.”

Speaking to the Village Voice team she says there is only one person who provides for their family.

“The only person who works is my son-in-law and he is our only source of income at the moment. He earns $130 a week and we are still trying to budget and buy cheap things, so that we reach the next pay week.”

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