Last September, the Farmer Joe company at Vaitele offered young Sam Fa’apito a job.
Normally, such an offer would not constitute news but young Sam from Aele, has been a child vendor since he was seven years old and for years, he has done his best to help provide for his family.
His efforts to earn a little money included offering to carry people’s shopping from the shops to their cars.
But those offers were not always welcomed.
“One woman told me to go and find a job. No one seemed to care. People just passed by me every day with mad expressions on their faces. That told me that they really wanted to hit me.”
“Back in the day, I also washed car tyres until the shop owner near Bluebird Lumber at Vaitele told me to go somewhere else.
“Then I moved on to many other places and finally came here to Farmer Joe at Vaitele.
“But...I was in shock and very excited when one day, A.J. (the manager of Farmer Joe at Vaitele) offered me as permanent job pushing trolleys and helping the customers carry their shopping,” said the now 16-year-old.
“This really touched my heart.
“I....didn’t know that someone could make me this happy. I thought no one cared but when A.J. offered me a job, I was like wow...someone actually cares about me.
“On that day, I just couldn’t wait to go back home and tell the good news to my parents.
“My parents were very excited and we hugged each others...my father was like jumping up and down.
“To be honest, I used to sleep on the streets ...many times, especially during weekends because my parents didn’t have any money.
“My responsibility was - to earn for my family...and it was my decision to quit school and then I decided to try to find a job.
“That was when I was still young. After years....many people ignored me until A.J. came to the rescue.
“I want to thank A.J. and the crew at Farmer Joe for offering me the opportunity to work here.
“I earn $130 a week which is enough to provide for my family...at least no more hanging around in the sun and the dust every day.
“All I am looking at now is to be honest and serve our customers the best I can.
“Being honest means choosing not to do bad things and I know this is the only way that I can build up my character in this new job.
“I hope my life in the future will be successful...but my first priority now, is to continue looking after my parents.