A mother’s love cannot be measured.
Here is To’afa Samuelu, a mother of three from Satapuala, who lives through the struggles of life because of her love for her children.
The unemployed 28-year-old spoke to the Village Voice team about her many fears, including having no hygienic toilet for her family.
She knows it’s a health hazard for her family.
“This toilet that we have was from the Red Cross last year. It was through their partnership with the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa that we were able to have one,” Mrs. Samuelu said.
“They gave instructions that we had to dig a hole with the size of a big container, but then when we only used it for a while because the wooden base that we stand on started to decompose.
“It’s a health concern because the wind carries the decaying smell all the way to the house despite its location.
“It is not safe for my children to use, such kind of cases makes me concerned about my children because they might fall or something unexpected might happen since the wooden base of the bathroom is no longer safe,” said Mrs. Samuelu.
Mrs. Samuelu added she takes her children to their neighbour’s house to use their bathroom.
Tropical Cyclone Gita also contributed to the burden that she carries; it ruined most of the trees that prevented dust from entering their home, with a major possibility of her children getting sick from it.
“The dust is another cause of how my children could become sick. Since we have no grass on our field, we have to use the water to wet the ground to avoid the dust entering our house, but we don’t have tap water as well.”
Living in their area for so long, she and her husband being unemployed adds to their struggle of trying to find proper water supply.
“I want a job to be able to raise my children. I am desperate to earn money to be able to take my children to school, but the difficult part is that I do not know where to find a job.
“My husband works the land. If we are low in cash then he would take a sack of coconuts to sell or even bananas,” she said.
Mrs. Samuelu believes the only key is putting her kids in school.
“I want my children to eat healthy and at the same time have something good. We mostly have taro and coconut cream for dinner; if we are lucky to have money then we buy sugar and make some tea, so tea and taro for dinner.
“I want them to attend school and not sit around and do nothing; the worst feeling is for them to live in poverty like how I am now.
“Looking at my children they are always hungry, but I do not know where to find the money to cater to their needs, the only cure is to take my children to school.”
They are so poor that she finds it difficult to put her eldest son through Year 1, buy her children any clothing or even afford mattresses and mosquito nets.
For anyone willing to help Mrs. Samuelu, contact the number 7614958.