Big smiles and hearts filled with joy were witnessed yesterday afternoon at the Savaia Primary School in the constituency of Lefaga.
One hundred and fifty students of the school received free pairs of jandals from philanthropic work by a very young Samoan entrepreneur and philanthropist born and raised in New Zealand.
Epifania Tusani, known to friends, family and customers in New Zealand as Epi, is in Samoa to present her donation for the Savaia Primary School.
Epi is the daughter of proud parents - Tuala Tusani Tagaloa, of Leauva’a and Debbie Tusani Purrows.
The parents, along with Epi’s extended family members such as Epi’s grandfather Fonoti Tusani and Grandmother Judy were all at the presentation to showcase their support for the young entrepreneur.
Epi is only eleven years old and is residing with her parents and family in New Zealand. Epifania is incredibly young but the milestone she has set and the benchmark she has streaked at such a young age is unequivocally unique, larger than this life or even taller than her 3 to 4 foot stature.
Who would think an eleven-year-old will find compassion, determination, generosity, perseverance or simply a loving heart for others at that point?
Everyone on site was amazed and in complete awe when Epi was called up to present the donation to the Principal of the school obviously because of her age and her stature but possess a benevolent heart for anyone especially the children of her age group.
Malama Su’a, Principal of Savai’i Primary School expressed her gratitude.
“On behalf of Savaia Primary School, I thank Epi, her parents and family for this kind donation, this kind of donation is very rare, we don’t get them all the time but I am very happy that my students will now have new shoes,” she said.
“We pray for God’s blessings upon Epi, parents and extended family, not forgetting S.S.A.B as they do help us as well re: prizes for our prizegivings.”
Epi has only been to Samoa two times and during her last time here, three years ago; she went with her family on a picnic to a beach out in the Lefaga area.
While on the driveway down the beach, Epi saw many children of the village running bare foot on the side of the road.
She turned to her father and said: “The kids are running barefoot on the road; I want to get them some shoes.”
When Epi and family returned to NZ Epi’s desire to get the children some jandals lived on, amazingly at such a young age, Epi persistently barraged her parents to do something that would generate some penny so she can buy jandals for the kids at the village who had no jandals
Epi was able to accomplish her dream because of her parent’s support especially her father Tuala.
“Epi was able to generate money for the jandals from making cupcakes and selling them at the Flea markets in Otara and Mangere two weekends a month”. “I am very blessed to have a daughter who has a generous, genuine and loving heart for others; it’s pointless to live this life, if there is no love”.
Epi is an active member of the Younga OPPPA organisation which her parents founded two years ago for the young pacific entrepreneurs who are looking to upgrade their skills in manufacturing their own products and selling them to suitable markets in New Zealand. Currently the Younga OPPPA has more than 20 members made up of kids from Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Niue and other pacific Islands.
There is a specific space in SSAB Auckland Sei Oriana that is allocated for the Younga OPPPA organisation for their members to sell their lotions, soaps and other products they manufacture.
Epi would like to acknowledge the support by ways of advertising, purchasing, networking, transportation etc from some of the local and overseas companies who helped make this donation a possibility SSAB’s CEO Fiti Leung Wai, SSAB Sei Oriana’s Managing Director Jody Toleafoa, Nash Yoshida and the crew from Yoshida company at Vaitele, Faimalo Allan Stowers and the Pacific Ezy money company, Big Bear and AJ’s Bakery.