‘Poverty’ of jobs in Savai’i

The government needs to invest in factories in Savai’i to provide employment opportunities there.

So says 24-year-old Selulo Fa’aso’otauloa from Sataua, Savai’i who believes the people on the big island deserve to have employment opportunities just like people in Upolu.

Asked if subsistent farming is sufficient for food and income, he said no.

“What’s the point of trying to sell taro when all families in Savai’i have plantations,” he said.

Selulo admits that “life is getting tougher and tougher every day.”

“The biggest problem is the cost of living and that is because people don’t have money,” he said.

Selulo was born and raised in Savai’i.

“Families on the big island need money for most of the things we do in life like fa’alavelave, church contributions, village obligations as well as to send our children to school.

“Yes we have plantations and we depend on the sea as well, but that’s only for our families’ food.

 “To us, what’s the point of selling taro on the side of the road when everyone in the village has a plantation.”

He believes there is huge potential for factories to provide job opportunities.

“The government should create more job opportunities for us here in Savai’i and develop Savai’i as well,” he said.

 “Yes we have many lands in Savai’i to plant crops and vegetables but people prefer a life where they can earn money for a living through employment.”

Selulo said that only poverty of opportunities exist in Savai’i. 

“Like I said before, there are not enough opportunities in Savaii for our people to turn to and we need more developments and big companies here,” he said.

“The only kind of poverty we have in Savai’i is the poverty of opportunities.

“When we look at those living closer to town there are a lot of opportunities for them to get jobs and earn money for a living and to take care of their families every day.

“We’ve also seen the developments in Salelologa as well but it’s still far from us living in the rural areas.

“For us in Sataua and other outer parts of Savai’i, the main problem is the lack of opportunities like jobs and others.”

Despite this limitation, Selulo said he loves Savai’i.

 “I love it because it is where my heart is,” he said. “Savai’i is home and I find it hard to stay anywhere else but here.”

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