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Struggling family get surprise gift

Life is tough for 24-year-old Flora Ieremia as she continues to be on the lookout for employment opportunities, which she hopes could turn around her fortunes.

Her husband, who is a builder, is also jobless and the few opportunities that come by to build a house are rare. 

But the couple got a surprise when they were the recipients of an early Christmas present, courtesy of local company Island Rock through its 25 Days of the Spirit of Christmas campaign, which began last month.

The company gave the family a food hamper — comprising a box of tinned fish, noodles, box of crackers, sacks of rice, sugar and toys for the children — to their surprise. The company targeted vulnerable families that were featured in the Village Voice column of the Samoa Observer.

Flora thanked the company for their generosity in recognising the needs of the family.  

“I have nothing to repay thy kindness but all I do have is a prayer of blessings upon all of you and your company. May the Lord bless your company so it will always be prosperous.”

“I feel blessed to have been selected to get this assistance but according to the bible, God blesses those that give more than those that receive.”

“I am a mother of five, the assistance that you have given will be used with our hearts filled with gratitude especially because my kids can have a decent meal during the festive season,” she said.

Flora said that with Christmas just around the corner, it made her feel restless.

“I could not sleep most of the time, I became consumed with worry as me and my husband struggled with survival.”

“We are both unemployed but we try to seek employment, at the moment it is still unsuccessful. My children are my first priority and every mother knows this.

“My husband if he gets an opportunity, he works by helping to build houses of others but it is quite rare,” she said.

The couple and their children previously lived at Taumeasina before they moved to Alamagoto. 

“When we moved here a year ago, the only thing we brought was the clothes on our backs. We are currently living at my husband’s family’s land and house. Our main concern is water accessibility. We do not have access to water, we have to use water from our neighbours and we are required to pay for it,” she added.

The mother of five said recently the family that have been supplying them water demanded for them to pay $300 or they will not have access to water.

“My family depends on water for survival; we use it for drinking, cooking, bathing, and washing of our clothes.”

“It breaks my heart that I cannot provide my kids with drinking water every time they cry that they are thirsty,” she stated.

A representative from Island Rock, Tapunuu Kevin Iene relayed to the family of Flora that their campaign is focused on giving back to the community.

“Our company is sharing the spirit of Christmas with giving to selected families and organizations that deserve to celebrate the joy of Christmas just like everyone else.”

“The campaign is ongoing for 25 Days from the 30th of November to the 24th of December and it will feature a variety of programmes and activities.”

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