Choices and sacrifices

By Vatapuia Maiava and Ilia L Likou ,

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MAKING HARD DECISIONS EVERY SINGLE DAY: Tupa’i Fa’amate, from the village of Falelauniu with his wife.

MAKING HARD DECISIONS EVERY SINGLE DAY: Tupa’i Fa’amate, from the village of Falelauniu with his wife. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

We are faced with decisions every day but what if those choices were between paying off school subject fees or feeding your family that day?

Not any easy choice is it? No matter which one is chosen, the sacrifice that is made, is a big one.

For Tupa’i Fa’amate, from the village of Falelauniu; these are the type of choices he faces on a day to day basis.

No matter how hardworking he and his wife are, they are faced with big sacrifices and decisions every day.

“Right now the pay I make is not enough for the family especially when it comes to the children’s schooling,” Tupa’i told the Village Voice.

“There are every day necessities, transport fares, and the rent for the house we are currently living in because we are from Savaii. I have two children right now and we are trying to give them a good life.”

Through all the hardships they face, they always put their children first.

Tupa’i continued on to explain the many dilemma’s he and his wife face.

“My wife just recently got a job as a housemaid and I will be starting a job doing secutrity on Monday (today),” he said.

“Her pay is only $120 a week and that isn’t enough for everything in the family because we have to deduct $50 every week to save up for the rent.

“Our rent is $500 a month so after saving $50 a week we are left with $200 to pay at the end of the month which is very hard for us. Aside from that, the $70 we make has to be stretched really widely to take care of the family.”

“This is a real struggle for us because even the school fees and extra costs come out of that $70 so you can see how it doesn’t balance out.

“Another problem we are facing is that when I start my job as a security guard, then my wife has to quit hers because we have no one to look after the children.”

And as mentioned before, their girls come first.

“We are struggling so much but I put my children first all the time,” Tupa’I said.

“We may not have enough money but we will always try our very best to provide everything our girls need. Some days we can afford to get them some tea, other times we can’t.”

 “Also, we couldn’t afford to pay some of our daughter’s subjects,” he said.

“We are still trying to save up for them but it’s not easy because we will have to sacrifice some food to pay.

Aside from not being able to make ends meet every day, Tupa’I says that they also have problems with water.

 “To add to our struggles, we always have problems with water. We would go months with water cuts and our family lives very far for us to go and get water from them.

“My family need a water tank and we know we won’t be able to afford one for a while now. We also deal with the usual things like cultural activities (fa’alavelave).”

“I just pray that the Lord will help us because we have tried our best to help ourselves.”

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