Financial hardship has taken its toll on Baratisa Gaupule.
Ms. Gaupule is an unemployed foster guardian of three children. They live in a small shack in Tanumapua.
Searching for a steady water supply is their daily routine. They also don’t have electricity.
Making and selling umu is their only source of income.
Speaking to the Village Voice team, she shares that they in need of financial assistance.
“My main concern is that we have three kids who we look after. It is my husband’s sister’s kids and also he has a daughter and she has reached college level.
“I guess the older they become, the more we would have to spend money,” said the 25-year-old.
They make umu every day and sell it in front of the Farmer Joe supermarket at Siusega.
Transportation costs a lot for them, especially with the trips they make daily just to try and earn a living.
“We usually make $100 a day and with the money we earn, we spend it on the children’s bus fares, their food and the meals we have for dinner.
“We cannot save any momey. The minute it comes, it will be spent. This is the reason we need to work every day.
“I usually sell the umu while my husband stays home and works the land so that we would always have something to sell every day.”
Mrs. Gaupule says they have so many things to worry about but there is nothing that they could do about it because their main priority is their children.
“We don’t have electricity, water supply or a toilet. There is no sink and we barely have any plates,” Mrs. Gaupule said.
“The roof of our house is not stable, it leaks and it needs many materials to complete it. We are currently looking for more wood to make it more stable.
“As you can see, we still need a lot of fixing to do, Tropical Cyclone Gita was strong and luckily the trees did not fall on our house or else we would have no house to live in.
“We go to another family to get water, but they live far from where we stay and we don’t have enough buckets to store our water.
“Even during the night after selling our goods in front of Farmer Joe, we come and go get our buckets filled up. This is why we need a water tank.
“Life is really hard. It is a good thing we don’t have our own biological kids or else they would be suffering too.”
For anyone willing to help Mrs. Gaupule, contact the number 7728483.