With six toddlers, it’s a tough life in the village!

By Sarafina Sanerivi ,

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 Fa’afeu Neemia (in the middle) with his wife Alisa (standing at the back) with his children.

Fa’afeu Neemia (in the middle) with his wife Alisa (standing at the back) with his children.

Fa’afeú Neemia, is a 31-year-old from the village of Lotofagā Safata. 

He is the husband of Alisa Ne’emia and they have six children.

They live in a small house at Lotofagā, where they’ve been residing for four years now. 

And for three years, they have been living there without access to electricity. 

Fa’afeu’s plantation.

Fa’afeu’s plantation.

During an interview with the Samoa Observer at his home, Fa’afeu admitted that life is tough for them. 

“We face a lot of problems here in our families,” he said. 

Corporal punishment of students by the teachers in schools is one of those problems. 

“One of the issues that we continuously face back here in the village is the problem of teachers,” he said.

“Most of us do not like the teachers back here. One of my sons is having hearing problems because one of the teachers slapped my son so hard during class. 

Says Fa’afeu, he didn’t take what happened to his son lightly. 

“But I thank God for giving me the right mind to the right decision. And that was to give him (teacher) one more chance. Because the headache a teacher gets from trying to teach the students is not the same as the pain we parents have when thing like these happen. 

Fa’afeu’s plantation.
Fa’afeu’s plantation.

“The only thing to do is to pray to God to give us the right mind to make the right choices for our family. Because in this life, we have people who can’t control their anger all the time and when things like these happens, they jump straight to conclusion and cause a lot of troubles.

“A lot of teachers back here in the village are hanging by a thread. Most of them only have one more chance in the schools. 

“For my son’s case, I gave him (teacher) a warning,” he said. 

“We gave him one more chance, because he is related to my wife. But that doesn’t stop me from doing what’s right. If he does it again, I will go to the Ministry of Education to report him or go straight to Police. Because this is also not the first time he has done something like that to a student.”

Fa’afeu went on to say that one of the problems they face in the villages is the way extended families treat them. 

“It’s what happening in families and it also happens in our family,” he said. 

“People, even our own relatives are always trying to bring us down whenever they see that we are doing something good.

“They will always try to destroy whatever we do to break us down. Another thing is, even if its just a minor problem, people always make a big deal out of it and then whenever we have a family to’onai with the whole extended family they will raise it up in front of the whole family and we would get in trouble. 

“And we are not the only family who is going through problems like these, it’s also happening to other families as well. So when we have to’onai, we get told off by the elders in the family and they treat us like prisoners. 

“They tell us off and say a lot of things to us and also try to kick us out of the family. That’s what’s happening at the moment.”

And even though they have been living without electricity for four years, Fa’afeu still believes that there is no poverty in Samoa. 

“At the moment, we don’t have access to electricity,” he said. 

“But I don’t think there is poverty in Samoa. There is a lot of money here in Samoa. You are the reason why you are poor. If you don’t work, then you will end up being poor.”

Fa’afeu’s plantation is the source of income for his family. 

“We have taro, banana, yams and a vegetable garden.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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