A mother’s daily struggle

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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Saini Leasi in front of her house.

Saini Leasi in front of her house.

No money and inadequate housing are the realities of life for unemployed 55-year-old, Saini Leasi.

Coupled with her struggle with water supply, it’s a tough life.

Her husband has passed on and she is now the sole provider for her eight children and grandchildren. 

“Now that my husband has passed on, my children depend on me and that is hard,” she said. 

“It is not easy carrying for my whole family with just two hands, we are called to have spouses to share the load but I am left on my own.

“Sometimes there is no money and I do not know how to take care of them. There are times when we only have taro for dinner.”

Mrs. Leasi has been put to the test with financial hardships.

For three years they have lived in an incomplete home and their tap water will be disconnected because of overdue bill. 

“The thing is that I have so many children and the house that we live in is unstable. There are so many problems that we have in and with our house. We need a tarpaulin because when it rains the water comes in.

“Our house is incomplete, we were in Savaii but we have moved here because my husband has passed away and I want to try and start a new home for my children.

“I will be honest, after this month we would not see tap water anymore because we need to pay our water bills first,” said Mrs. Leasi.

Two of her children who live with her, her daughter and son, are married with kids. She has nine grandchildren and they all live together.

Her son-in-law works as a security guard and receives $150 weekly, which is never enough for their family of 14.

“I want a peaceful life for my children and for them to be blessed in this world that we live in, instead of struggling.

“I don’t have money but I have children who are in school, my daughter can’t work because she has to stay home and help me look after the kids.

“We need help financially so I will be able to raise my children. There are six kids in school.”

The house that she lives in is not big enough for her family, but the majority of her grandchildren are still young.

“The space of the house that we live in is not enough to cater for all of us. We have no closets to place my children’s clothes in.

“The bathroom we have now was funded by my relatives, they understood that we needed a proper bathroom, but we need another one because there’re so many of us.”

She shared that it would be better for them to have a water tank because it will save them time and energy from walking down to the river to fetch buckets of water.

She mentioned that they have a plantation, but it is mainly used to supply for the children’s daily nutrition and sometimes when they are low in cash, they sell their banana batches.

Mrs. Leasi added: “Even though I am poor, I am thankful for the land. 

 “I am trying to teach my younger children to do well in school so that they can have stable jobs to help our family live a peaceful life.”

For anyone who is willing to help this family, contact the number 7270478.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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