Does poverty exist or not in Samoa?
If you ask Lafua Leatasa from the village of Tanumapua, he believes that only lazy people are poor.
“People in Samoa are only poor if they do not work or find jobs,” he tells the Village Voice.
“We only have two employed members of our family, my wife and my daughter. Both work at the shop down the road.
“Right now we have nine adults in the family and then the little ones who you can see outside playing. We don’t have many things in the family that we need to spend money on.”
The family only spends about $100 a week because Lafua manages the money needed for the family. According to him, not much money needs to be spent because they rely a lot on what they plant on the land for survival.
“We are always working hard to make money for the food and the transport costs for the children,” he says.
Asked about the difference between life in Apia and life in the village, Lafua replied: “With regards to life in Apia and the village, I think they are both the same.
“The only difference is that in the villages, we have land to provide us with the crops to eat and to sell.
“There is hardly any land in Apia to grow crops but out here, we can just grow as much food as we can for the family.”
Lafua concluded by suggesting that families in Samoa should rely more on their own strength.
“Those who have no money and live in poverty are lazy,” he says.
“I strongly believe that we should rely on others and work hard within the family. Many people rely on the blessings given by others but if you just work then everything will be ok.
“If we work hard then this will be an example for the next generation. They will grow up knowing how hard they should work in life so they can look after themselves.
“My family has stayed on this land for 17 years.”