Struggles in life are not discouraging

By Fetalai Tuilulu’u and Aruna Lolani ,

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Levi Atioka, 31 Vailu’utai and Salimu Faga Savai’i.

Levi Atioka, 31 Vailu’utai and Salimu Faga Savai’i.

With a pile of bills not to mention obligations and a family to feed, the increase in the cost of living is making life a little harder to cope with.

According to Levi Atioka, aged 31 from the village of Vailu’utai and Salimu Savai’i, the high cost of living is a problem.

“The only issue I can think of in our everyday life is how expensive the cost of living is right now,” he told the Village Voice.

“The prices for all the things in the shop have been raised and the pay people receive is not enough to cover everyone’s basic needs.

“We need money for almost everything; the water bills, to pay for electricity and food for every day. People’s pay and the cost of living do not match.”

The father of three is a farmer while his wife is a pre-school teacher in their village. 

“It’s all right for families with more than three people with jobs but with us we have got only one breadwinner to care for our elderly parents and kids. 

“The one lucky thing we have is a plantation. I mean without a plantation what could we do?

But with Samoa’s family values being very strong, fighting the high cost of living is made easier for some families. 

“As you can see, I just got back from my plantation with taro and some cucumbers,” Levi said.

 “A family who works together is a happy family and that’s what I believe. 

“Here’s the way we do things. My wife gets to pay all the bills in our family while I provide the food. Her pay covers all our family expenses while I try and put food on the table. 

“But when it’s a family fa’alavelave we both share in it. That’s how my family is and we’re used to it. 

Levi says he is grateful for the help his wife provides through her job.

“I couldn’t have done anything without my wife. The children and I are lucky to have her in our lives.” 

One area of concern he has is with the quality of care provided at the Leulumoega Hospital. 

“This is the only problem here,” he said. 

“The service is so slow and to be honest my parents have to wait for hours before seeing the doctor. 

“This is why I want to humbly ask the Government to please prioritise hospitals in rural areas just like how they prioritise the main hospital in town. 

“This is the only hospital near our village and we can’t guarantee rushing to Apia if something happens to our families.” 

© Samoa Observer 2016

Developed by Samoa Observer in Apia