Local Chinese support Samoa’s elderly

By Sapeer Mayron ,

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Sister Julia Zhu (LDS) and Sister Martha Lee (Sisters of the Poor).

Sister Julia Zhu (LDS) and Sister Martha Lee (Sisters of the Poor).

The Chinese business community has rallied to support Samoa’s elderly with the donation of goods and services.

Sister Julia Zhu of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (L.D.S.) corralled her Chinese friends and community members to give back to the country they now call home.

To say thank you, the donors will gift their goods and services to Mapuifagalele Home for the Elderly.

The owners of Coin Save, G.S.I., A & A Hair and Beauty Salon, Hanky Ltd and Sister Zhu herself are donating food, general goods, free hairdressing and even incontinence products to support the daily operations of Mapuifagalele.

“It was very easy to get the businesses involved,” said Sister Zhu.

“When we talk to the Chinese people, everybody says good idea, I want to join you.”

Sister Zhu said members of the Chinese community in Samoa truly love this country.

After five or 10 years of living in Samoa and establishing their businesses, some members of the community decided they ought to give back.

 “So they think, it’s time we should do something for them [Samoans].”

Mapuifagalele is Samoa’s only nursing home for the elderly and it houses 44 residents. 

Sister Martha Lee received the happy news of Sister Zhu’s crowdfunding efforts, and said it was a great surprise to her.

“I had just arrived, nearly two months ago,” she said.

“I was very surprised but at the same time, I thank God for having sent her as the instrument to help our people. The people we help here have no income or pension.”

Sister Lee said the residents of Mapuifagalele do not have incomes or pensions to pay for their stay nor do the sisters expect them to.

They rely on donations such as these, as well as other sources of funding to keep their doors open and their residents looked after.

While food donations and household goods are really helpful, Sister Lee said money for maintenance would also be appreciated.

Mapuifagele recently spent $1,800 tala on two new water pumps to replace their broken ones.

They are currently in need of two new hospital beds and are eager to find a donor to assist them.

“I asked Sister Zhu for them, but she said her friends did not do that kind of business,” Sister Lee said, laughing.

The businesses Sister Zhu was able to engage were able to donate other essential goods, in particular adult diapers.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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