Village Voice families receive boots donation

Three families who were featured in Samoa Observer’s Village Voice were the recipients of boots donated by Australian policewoman, Jo Mikarna.

The Australian previously handed over to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) 4000 boots and 500 pairs of work trousers – from her police unit in Melbourne and every department across the state – with the hope it would also be distributed to vulnerable and low-income Samoan farmers.

One of the recipients of the boots was 35-year-old father of four, Ronny Tamaese from Falefa, whose family’s plight was featured in the Village Voice.

“As a farmer, these boots will be used to assist with carrying out my work in the plantation; words fail to express how thankful I am.”

“I pray that God will continue to bless those that made these gifts possible, not every day you get the chance to have brand new boots.”

“And judging by the looks of it, the cost for these must be expensive, I also acknowledge the work Samoa Observer does in being the voice of the people in need,” he said.

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Mr. Tamasese said due to his family’s struggle with financial support, they would never afford such boots.

Another receiver of the boots was 50-year-old Pupualii Lufia, who also sought assistance for his family through Village Voice.

“On behalf of my family especially I Tuapi Leota and my wife Nika Lauano, who received three pairs of boots combined, I thank everyone that contributed in making this possible.”

“I never dreamed of ever getting something like this, accepting brand new shoes has somewhat lifted my spirits despite the hardships we face.” 

“I have been a farmer for as long as I can remember, passed down from generations, but I do admit I still face the need of help with farm supplies,” he said.  

The family of Manua Fetineiai from Falevao was also given a pair of boots for 16-year-old Faaivivi Visesio, to assist the family with chores at their plantation.

A total of 12 pairs of boots from two boxes were given by MAF in order to conduct the distribution, compelling Ms. Mikarna to delay her return to Australia so she can be part of the delivery.

There were four other pairs of boots given to local farmers but due to bad weather conditions, three pairs of boots were left behind from the delivery and were returned to MAF, which confirmed that a list is being compiled for Cabinet’s approval before giving any out.

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