A mother from Leauva’a knows what its like to struggle.
Mona Filipo, 51, has had to step up to be the father and the mother after her husband suffered a stroke.
Speaking to the Village Voice, Mona admits that it hasn’t been easy.
“Three years ago my husband became paralysed from a stroke,” she explained. “He was admitted to the hospital for almost a year and this is where the struggle all started.
“I know in my heart that I shouldn’t be weak about it because it is what it is. Right now I try to stay strong and move on to develop our family.”
“Now the future of my family especially my child relies on me and its one major priority.”
Mona does different jobs to earn money.
“This is my second job of the day,” she said.
“I work around, and whoever offers me jobs I take it only for money. I work three jobs a day and it doesn’t matter as long as I have money for my family.”
“I clean one of my neighbour’s homes at Leauva’a in the morning, when it’s 12 in the afternoon, I take the bus and come here to Tuana’i to clean another’s old man’s land for money as well.”
“And when after work, I gather some coconuts and sell it.”
To say her life is tough is an understatement.
“I confess my family is struggling and we need your support Samoa.”
“We hardly have anything nice to eat because we hardly have extra money.”
“There are times where we have too many things to contribute too and so we don’t have enough money to take care of all the family’s needs.”
But Mona is positive.
“Whenever I face problems, I make sure it doesn’t discourage me from continuing to work hard.”
“I would never let any hardship get to me especially that my child’s education depends on my work. It’s not just having any money we struggle with, you see we don’t have electricity. But I’m not worried too much because we have kerosene lights at home.”