Father expresses frustration about poverty

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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So’olefai Siitagata with his wife Paileu and their two children

So’olefai Siitagata with his wife Paileu and their two children

Trying to manage on very little is a fight that many people in Samoa are struggling with. 

Soolefai Siitagata a father of two said he is not the only one who is facing the problem of there never being enough as  so many people out there are going through the same process.

“There are so many families that are going through this heartfelt problem, not being able to provide for our loved ones,” he said.

The 25 year old believes that life is very hard and expensive. He even said that some of them are going back to how it was in the olden days due to poverty. 

“We don’t have any electricity or a water supply at home either and we are also using the Samoan traditional toilet,” he told Village Voice.

Soolefai is from the village of Lotofaga and he said that his house needs a lot of work to be done to it especially as he lives in such a small space. Everything is done within one spot and he doesn’t know where to find the money to fix it.

“The foundation of our house is made out of the stem of the bush coconut; we also use car tyres to hold the roof on the house. We don’t have a kitchen so we cook our dinner here, the same spot that we sleep in.”

He is the only one who works while his wife stays home and looks after their two young children. According to Soolefai he earns $150 a week but it is certainly not enough for him and his family.

“I am the only one who works but even with that $150 it goes by real fast. There are so many things that we need to do and get for the kids as well. My wife and I are struggling to try to budget that money. I need to put money aside for my bus fare to work and the rest goes to feeding my family on a daily basis,” he added.

The hardest part for Soolefai is witnessing his family trying to all squeeze into one part of the house. He feels very sad about it.

“I was called to be a father, to be a leader. To guide my family into becoming better but I can’t. How am I supposed to do what I need to do when I do not have enough money to help them? We go to sleep early because there is no power and we all try to fit in one spot because our house is very small.”

Soolefai understands that nothing in life comes easily but he didn’t expect it to be this difficult.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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