It has been a great couple of weeks for families whose cries for help have been featured in the Village Voice Section of this newspaper.
While some of us might take having food, water, money and other items deemed as luxury goods for granted, others are not so lucky.
In Samoa today, we see a growing gap between the have and the have nots.
The fact is more and more people in this community are suffering silently from hardship, poverty and lack so that today more than ever, we need to do everything possible to lend a helping hand wherever and whenever we can.
Which is where the idea of the Village Voice section comes in.
It is the Samoa Observer’s desire to use the power of the media to make a difference. And when it comes to helping the people who need it the most, we believe the naked truth, whether we like it or not, is one way to go about it.
So everyday on the pages of your newspaper, there are stories after stories of people with different needs. For example, there are people struggling to make ends meet.
Then there are people who are desperate for employment. There are mothers and fathers who harbour great dreams for their children but are hamstrung by the lack of money. There are families without water, houses and electricity. And yes believe it or not, there are people without food who are desperate. We can go on but we will stop here.
The good news is that many of the families and individuals who have featured in the Village Voice have gotten the help they so desperately need from hundreds of Good Samaritans in Samoa and abroad.
Here at the Samoa Observer, it is a gratifying feeling and we are extremely grateful. It is good to know that in an age where money talks and that some people have become a lot more self-centred, there are still many others who have a willing, caring and loving heart to help.
Last week for instance, the great people at Betham Brothers Enterprises, Trans Pacific Travel and Budget Rentals visited many families to present food supplies and money to help with their needs. Among the families who received help were Fiu Mosiula from Falelauniu, Lisi Toma from Malie, Eunike Va’afa’i Finau from Afega, Alaese Fereti from Lotoso’a Saleimoa, Su’e Epati from Faleasiu, Ta’atia Reupena from Faleasiu, Anovale Aiono from Fasitoo uta, Tifitifi Ioelu from Fasitoo uta, Akenese Ah Sam from Fasitoo uta and Pepe Uati from Falelauniu.
Office Supervisor of B.B.E. Ltd, Ruta Williams, explained: “These funds were initially allocated for office purposes.
“However, after further elaborations and discussions, we’ve opted to donate this money for families who need the financial assistance.”
The decision is the answer to Fiu Mosiula of Falelauniu’s prayer, who said they were desperate for food and money.
Another recipient, Lisi Toma, couldn’t hold back the tears.
“I didn’t really expect this to happen,” Lisi said. “And I just want to thank your companies for doing all these for my grandchildren. I have nothing to offer but all I can say is; may the Lord bless you with all that you have given for my family.”
Keep in mind this is not the first time for the B.B.E. family of companies to provide assistance for families in the Village Voice. What a great example for all.
Yesterday, another beautiful example of Good Samaritans at work was featured on the front page of the Weekend Observer. This time, the Youth With A Mission (Y.W.A.M.) and the Honorary Consul of Switzerland in Samoa, Sylvie Salanoa, had joined forces to help families who desperately need water.
So from Ululoloa to Faleasi’u-uta, some 22 families, received water tanks.
Y.W.A.M leader, Usufono Fepulea’i, said they just wanted to provide a means for families to collect water.
“We have been hearing stories of families in this area with no water, and we also read the Samoa Observer’s Village Voice articles about this issue and that’s where the idea came from,” he said.
“So we started to conduct our own survey and found out that it was real, that there are people who don’t even have access to water at all.”
Among them were Fesola’i Felea’i and Mary Luki.
“We are so grateful,” said Fesola’i of Faleai’u-uta. “We are out of words today. We appreciate this hard work and we feel so blessed.
“Growing up without water has not been easy and to finally have someone and some people step up and give us hope is a great feeling. Thank you for caring.”
Mary Luki, of Falelauniu, echoed similar sentiments.
“I thank the work by Y.W.A.M and also the acknowledge the assistance from Switzerland that has brought light and life to me and our family. Thank you so much for your help. It means a lot to us.”
These stories are not only beautiful to read but they are heartwarming. We know we are a country of the “we” rather than the “me.” We are a nation of givers and helpers. Which means there is hope for many who are not as fortunate as others.
The cases we’ve highlighted here are only a few of many, many instances where people have provided help to members of the public whose plight have been featured on the pages of this newspaper. In a number of cases, some Good Samaritans do not want to be identified, they want to remain anonymous.
And it’s not just through the Village Voice; we have featured many stories where people have freely given to help those in need. Take a look at the story on page 3 of the newspaper you are reading about that kid from Savai’i who now has a chance to live thanks to the Save the Child’s Fund.
Today, we just want to say thank you to everyone. Thank you from the bottom or our hearts for giving and thank you for caring.
You know, five tala might not mean a lot to some of us but to a desperate mother, father, family, that is the difference between a meal and nothing at all. Keep that in mind.
Be kind to someone.
Have a peaceful Sunday Samoa, God bless you for giving!