Struggling in the hot sun for my children
For Vaiali’i Lino, from the villages of Asau and Si’usega, life is far from easy.
Working as a gardener means he has to spend long hours in the hot sun and rain, and with his family struggling financially, being sick or tired and missing work is never an option.
He explains that his one nightmare is that his children will share the same fate as he and struggle through life.
And by waking up in the morning despite fatigue, he wants to set an example for his children and let them see what a hard life looks like; this he says, will push them to do better in school to get a better future.
“My one and only wish is for my children to have a better life than this when they grow up,” he told the Village Voice.
“I am starting this year off the usual way; I come here in the morning to do my duties with my job to earn a bit of money for my family who is in real need of it.
“I am going to tell you straight, my family is really struggling. This job isn’t easy but I come every morning and deal with the hot sun so that I can earn what I can for my family.
“This is my love for my children and wife.”
The hardworking father fought back tears as he explained what his life is like.
“With this job, it doesn’t matter if it’s raining or the sun is very hot, I still have to come out and do some work for the sake of my children,” he said.
“I work this hard and struggle every day so that my children will see how hard life can get. I want them to learn from me and work hard while they’re young for a better life.
“I tell my children to do the best they can, especially in school, so that one day they can get a better job. This is my one and only wish and I pray for it always.
“Every night I sit and pray to God for the strength to get through yet another day so that I can earn what I can for my family. This may not be a life that everyone wants but it’s the one I have and all I can do is work hard for it.”
And while making as little as $120 a week, Vaiali’i tries his best to make it stretch as much as possible.
“I get paid about $120 a week and I try to manage that to the best of my ability for my family’s sake,” he said.
“So with this year starting up again, it’s the same hard work for me again. But even though it’s hard, I want to use myself as an example for the little ones at home.
“Working hard will get my little ones to work hard too. That’s how it is for my family.”