Life is hard for some in beautiful Samoa

By Sarafina Sanerivi and Ilia L. Likou ,

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Temukisa Semo and her right hand man, son Jay.

Temukisa Semo and her right hand man, son Jay. (Photo: Sarafina Sanerivi )

For Temukisa Semo from the village of Leonē, life is far from easy.

Aged 43, Temukisa is a mother of seven children.

Looking after seven children and budgeting the little money they get is tough. 

Temukisa said her family has been struggling financially.

She said that she fears that her children will share the same fate as she does and they will struggle through life.

“I am a mother of seven children, and I don’t have a job,” said Temukisa.

“My husband is the only one who works, but he doesn’t earn enough money for me and the children. 

“Four of my children are at the age where they can go to school and the other three are still young.”

Temukisa went on to say that she helped to find money for her family by selling goods on the streets to earn extra money.

“Like I said, we really struggle when it comes to money. But we always try and find ways to get ahead. 

“For me, I sell goods on the streets and one of my children helps me with selling.

“He helps me after school and during the holidays. He has been helping me a lot all throughout the holidays. 

“I worry about him sometimes but then he is always offering to help me out. Sometimes I tell him to stay home, but he refuses to.

“He said he wants to help me earn money for our family.”

Temukisa did not hesitate to say that her family really needed help, financially.

“You see the thing is, I have a big family to take care of. The money we get from my husband is never enough to raise my children and you know we also have other obligations. 

“This includes church donations, other things for the family and also family fa’alavelave.”

Moreover, Temukisa said the cost of living is one of the reasons why it is hard for them.

“You know it is tough when you try to stretch the little money you get to provide for your family.

“Especially now that school is going to start soon, it’s going to be difficult because we have to buy school uniforms for the children, give them their lunch money and also provide stationery.

“Life isn’t cheap anymore.”

However, having just graduated from a training programme by the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development, Temukisa is set to start a new beginning for her and her family.

“I am grateful to the Ministry for selecting me as part of this programme. The programme was very useful and it was fruitful to be honest.

“I’ve learnt so many things from the training and I will use all the new skills and apply it to my life and family.

“One of the areas we talked about is investing in our children. I know I haven’t been the best mother to my children, but that’s because we don’t have enough and I always struggle and hide my love for my children.

“But deep down, I want them to grow up and have good lives.

“So I will work hard on this new business I am going to start. I will start selling sei’s (flowers) and printed sarongs.

“With the help of the Ministry and S.B.E.C. I will get the right tools that I can use for my business and save up money for the future of my children and family.

“This year, I will send my children to Apia Primary School and I will keep pushing them to go to school and do well there.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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