Hardships and struggles are real
Samoa might have moved up the ladder from a least developing country to a developing country but life for most people is a daily struggle.
Anita Maliko, 57, a mother and grandmother from Tufuiopa sure knows this.
“There’s nothing to hide about how we (family) struggle everyday to make ends meet,” she told the Village Voice yesterday.
“The only person that works to support my family is my son-in-law, and that’s why I ended up on the street in selling whatever I can buy from shops in town to resell it for profit.
“That is how life is for me, and I know any parent would do anything for their families and children.
“My children have their own families now but we’re living under the same roof. But I never want to bother them.”
Anita said the little money she gets helps her family in a lot of ways.
She went on to say that her other grandson quit school to help her out two years ago while he was still in Primary school.
“My son has been helping since 2015 during school holiday. I tried to push him back to school at the beginning of last year but he still wants to come and help me out.
“So no matter how many times I tell him off for quitting school he still follows me around.
“Most of the time we only get $10 for one day from selling matches, car air fresheners and it really helps to buy sugar or rice for my children.
“The thing is, he understands that I’m doing this for our family because we are struggling when it comes to money.
“So we deliver whatever we can buy from shops around town.
“No matter how tired or sick I get, because of the dust and the rain, I keep on going because I love my family
“Sometimes it’s too hard for us to find water to drink when the sun is too hot.
“It’s not easy...not easy to find money....my son always tells me to find somewhere to have a rest but let him work on his own.
“So I take a break under a tree and tell him not to go far.
She continues ‘I think this is why he quit school because he wants to do this.
“I told me him at the beginning of this year to get ready to go back to school.
“But he said no.
“So we work from Monday to Saturday, start at seven o’clock in the morning until five (afternoon) and the only profit for one week is not more than $20.
“Sometimes I tried to hold my tears back knowing that no matter how hard I and my children try to work together as a family, we still haven’t got enough to take care of my family.
She believes that people are struggling.
“That is the whole truth.
“My family is no exception.
“As a mother I try my very own best...my children also seeks employment opportunities to work with but it’s just too hard for them to find one.
“As a mother, without any hope, I need to find a way to help them in whatever way I can.
“That’s why I joined this programme by the Ministry of Women and Social Development with the assistance of the S.B.E.C.
“I want to know how to do the elei, designs and other handicraft to help my family out. I’ve now promised myself to take my son back to school this year and contribute as much I can to my family.”