This is Mele Matulino. She is a mother of one from the village of Faleula who is finding life quite difficult with the exponential increase of the cost of living in Samoa.
“We’re all struggling in life because of the high cost of living,” she told the Village Voice.
‘The price of goods is increasing from time to time and we need to stay awake and budgeting is something that we have to take a deep look at.
“We see it all over our country, there are a lot of families, who struggle.
“There are some families who can’t afford to put their children through school because they barely make enough money to survive.
“On top of it we have fa’alavelave, village and church obligations....just too much for us to deal with especially when we compare of how much we try in live.
Not to be overwhelmed by the responsibilities that pile up, she states that proper budgeting and living within one’s means helps relieve financial pressure.
“My husband works as a bricklayer and earns $500 a week, but only when he is called for work, that means that we need to budget wisely.
“Even with that money, we still find it hard to stretch (pay) from one week to another week, it’s just too hard to handle it.
“We have one child, and what we’re looking at to is to plan our children as well.
“We all know that children are a gift from God, but we have to make sure that they’ll grow up to be healthy and successful in life.
“I think this is one of the most important things that we need to look at while we’re facing the high cost of living.
“Budget, because no matter how much you get, totally nothing if we can’t budget well.”
As a young adult and now young parent, she understands tha life can be challenging, and the young people of today should listen and obey their elders.
“They should, because they need to be smart enough to deal with the high cost of living when they grow older.”
However, the reality is that many hooligans spur trouble in her village giving her village a poor reputation and their behaviour is not appreciated. She said, “What we see now with the young people is very disappointing.”
“Every time news comes out that involves youths I get really sad but mostly angry and disgusted by it.
“Many young people are being silly and acting stupidly which is very sad because they’re not from our village.
“We need to return to the basics and get back to our roots.”