Hardships, struggles and poverty

Hardship, struggles and to an extent poverty are very real for Patisepa Tulua.

The unemployed mother of three children from Falelauniu-uta shares the daily struggles she faces.

Among them include the fact no one works, they don’t have a proper water supply and they live in a rundown shack.

 “I really need a job so that I can help my family,” she said. 

“When we are short on cash then I sell our crops in front of the road. We would sell coconuts and banana chips and things like that.

“The children collect the empty bottles and we store them because when we are short on money we would sell it and earn extra cash.”

She also does odd jobs to earn additional money.

“I always get money when I have a sick person that needs to be massaged. Another source of help is my husband’s pension, the benefits that he gets every month,” said the 49-year-old.

Patisepa explained: “I went to school for massaging and my mother also used to always massage people for a living but now it has reached me.

“There was a programme that was held at the back of the Samoa Tourism Authority where they did their massaging session. I was one of those people that were in that service provided.

“It will be good to get back into it so that I can help my children that are in school. Even though we get money from the job that I do, it is not consistent. Sometimes we need money urgently for the kids’ school but we have nothing.”

She also mentioned the condition of their house.

“We use car tyres and fill up large bottles of water to hold the roof down. The iron roofing of our house has rusted and some spots of the house leak.

“There are five of us that live in this house and we have been here for 20 years now. So the house is old and there are problems that we face but we are okay for now,” said the 49-year-old.

Patisepa adds that they are in need of a water tank. 

“Despite having a water supply, there are certain times when there is no water. So that is when we rely on the rain.

“I guess that is one of the biggest challenges that we are facing is the shortage of water. Even though we have a water supply, we turn it off because of the meter.”

For anyone who is willing to help Patisepa and her family contact this number 7744669.

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