Young boy provides for his family
Eleven year old, Titi of Tufuiopa is a young boy is one of a growing number of child vendors on the streets of Apia, begging and selling different goods every day.
“I’ve never been in a classroom before. I love selling these clips, matches and other stuff and I have been doing it since I was young.” he said.
“My mother left my father, me and my little brother some years ago and that’s why I ended up on the road selling these. I started when I was four years old.
“This helps my family to survive.” he said.
“Most of the time we don’t have enough food to eat…and if I stayed home we’d starve to death.
He added that his father told him to stay home. “Yes, I want to go to school” he said.
“I’ve told my father a number of times that I wanted to go to school like others but he told me that we don’t have enough money.”
Titi sells a range of goods from cocoa to small products they buy from the Chinese stores to on-sell.
“Sometimes my father stays home to look after my baby brother...he’s sick (mental disorder).
“I don’t get enough money from the goods because some people don’t want to buy from us.”
“I want to help my father and my sick brother… that’s why I do this. I want to help.
“At the moment, we don’t have enough money to send me back to school so I’ll keep working hard to sell this stuff.
“It’s not a lot of money that I get from selling, but at least there is something there.”