“Having a 90 year old grandmother to take care of without a job, is a struggle for our family”
Feleti Tavina of the village of Luatuanu’u admits that his family is struggling.
Although he works very hard, still they struggle because they’ve got to contribute to a lot of things.
While the family earnings are $80 tala a week, Feleti says it’s just not enough.
“I admit, we don’t have anyone in a job and all we have is our small plantation,” he told the Village Voice.
“We have our elderly grandmother to care for and to make sure she has everything she needs.”
The high cost of living is always the issue.
“I work very hard try to make do with what we have, but it seems that if the government do not re-consider the cost of living, then we will continue to suffer,” he said.
“And it’s not like they will soon do something about it because we have seen most people complaining about it, but still nothing has changed.
“I have no other choice because sometimes we can’t afford to buy what we need for the plantation because it’s just too expensive.
“You see, the plantation is our only source of income, but sometimes we can’t afford to buy chemicals for the crops.
“All of the money goes to taking care of the family and we only have something nice to eat like chicken on Sundays.”
The hard working father is an independent man.
“We have children overseas but I don’t depend on them for money because living overseas is far harder than here.
“Everything there is to do with money so I only ask them when we have to deal with huge fa’alavelave and that’s why I try and manage the money wisely so we can take care of as many things as possible.”
With the high cost of living Feleti just doesn’t sit around; he believes what other people say - that no job is no problem.
“I know the plantation doesn’t earn that much but it’s the only way because it’s just me, my wife and my mother.
“We can’t afford to work and leave her be, because she’s too old to do anything, so the plantation is all we have.
The money is just not enough and those who deny it are scared to admit it, he said.
“Not having enough money and with the very high cost of living, this issue should be addressed,” he declared.