Struggling to cope

By Seia Soloi ,

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ASKING FOR HELP:  Filomena.Letiataulevao.

ASKING FOR HELP: Filomena.Letiataulevao. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

A 64 year old mother of four desperately needs help to find a way to make her house a better shelter in this season of rain.

When the Village Voice caught up with her, she was picking up the rubbish and weeding her garden.

“This is what I do every day and it keeps me very strong to work to use my time while I can, especially working on our cocoa plants, because this is our only hope to provide for me and my kid’s. We sell the cocoa and get money” 

Filomena Letiataulevao lives with her four children’s at Levi, Saleimoa. None of them work or go to school.

Life is hard and tough for Mrs.Letiataulevao. 

“We have everything on our land for our survival, but the hardest part I’m facing now, is to make my own house a bigger and better place for us all.”

The elderly mother says, they are trying everything they can to earn more money so that one day, they’ll  be staying in a better house.

“We are struggling on our own to find food and develop our home.

HOME: A simple faleo’o for Filomena and her family.
HOME: A simple faleo’o for Filomena and her family.

“The cost of living is too much and expensive, and my family, we depend on our cocoa plants and plantation. Some days we earn $20 to $30tala and we use this money for food and family faalavelave.” Church and village obligations are the most expensive items nowadays in terms of lafolafoga and saofa’i and even though the money they make is not enough, they still contribute.

“For me, I’m not ashamed to say that I live in a faleo’o.

 “I call out for all my relatives to help out.” Mrs.Leatiataulevao has two kids of her own who have special needs, and it’s very hard for her in terms of communication. 

She said that back in the old days everything seemed so simple, but she believes that times have changed and there are more challenges in life which people keep complaining about.

“But we cannot do anything because as life moves on, the cost of living increases.”

Due to the heavy rainfall throughout this month, they have been confined to the small space which she says is not enough for her and her family.

“When it’s full we use mats to cover up the roof but hopefully someday, someone will donate to me and my family.

“As for now, that’s my only concern - to find a proper place to stay.”

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