Matu’u Fouvale from the village of Faleasiu has a simple view about building strong families.
The 50-year-old believes this starts at home with parents giving love.
“Parents must love each other first and then their children,” he said.
“Things are never the same if we don’t give back the love that our parents have given us. We must never ignore our families in times of need.”
Matu’u spoke to the Village Voice while he was running an errand for his father.
Matu’u is a father of six children. Four of them are overseas while the other two are staying with him and his wife. He is also looking after his elderly parents.
“This is what I do every day,” he said.
“I have both families to be concerned about. We only get one set of parents and I want to make sure my parents are okay.”
Like other hardworking farmers, Matu’u only refers to his children overseas for financial support when it comes to fa’alavelave.
“My children only help out when it comes to family obligations and funerals but basically we always rely on the farm,” he said.
How are things going within the family and the village?
“Things are well within our community,” he said. “We have great leaders and a great Village Council.
“I can say the same for our family but I know things will never be the same if we lost our parents, at least not now, because we have so much to do for them, we must show them the unconditional love that they showed us when we were growing up.”
Matu’u’s responsibility for family is ensuring they’re in good health and that he is always there for them.
“Making time is very important,” he said. “For my parents, I need to be there for them and to make sure they’re ok.”
Lastly, Matu’u shared his thoughts on the cost of living.
“I don’t mind the cost of living because the change is a decision made by the government. We can’t change that,” he said.
“I am a farmer, and for the greater good of my family, I make sure that we have nothing to worry about and that is why I work hard every day to ensure that we don’t have to rely on the children overseas for everything.”