A young mother of one has told of the struggles of raising a family with only one person working.
Twenty-two- year-old Petesa Sianamau from Vaitele says life has become a real struggle especially the cost of living.
Hardship due to finances is one of her biggest challenges.
“To be honest, income poverty is the condition of not having enough income to meet basic needs for food, clothing, as well as family obligations and so forth,” she said.
“This is the worst part of everyday life that I have to face.
Petesa says she believes these challenges lead to poor nutrition, fewer learning experiences; instability, lower quality of schools, violence and other social challenges.
“You see my husband earns $90 during the week with all the expenses and I tell you, it isn’t enough.
“Especially that I have a one year old kid that needs to be fed every time and of course my son’s school to pay.”
Petesa said she does her best to help her family.
“Every parent’s main focus is for their children to create a better future and that’s the same for me and my husband.”
For her the struggle started because she did not complete her education. She was pregnant and was forced into marriage.
“I can’t do anything to change the past,” she said.
“It is what it is. All you have to do is feed your kids and try to overcome whatever you’re facing.”
She also had a message for all the young girls of Samoa.
She wants them to learn from her experience and finish their school before raising their families.
“To be honest, I don’t want to see my children experience poverty and hardship like we are.
“I want them to realize that their parents are taking risks just to provide for them and they should be motivated to succeed and lead a better life when they grow up.”
Petesa is also concerned about a lot of the social problems especially in Vaitele.
“What saddens me the most is the fact that my poor young children can hear these things and are influenced by these bad people.
“So usually every evening I make sure they are in bed early.”
She said Vaitele should consider setting up a Village Council to govern the behaviour of some of the residents who act as if they are from another country.