Mother urges nation to persevere
For Filomena Letia Sagato, from the village of Levi, Saleimoa, life may not be a walk in the park but her and her family still do their best to live out their lives to the best of their ability.
Aged 64, Filomena lost her husband not too long ago and losing the head and strength of the family was never easy.
“My husband passed away not too long ago and it hasn’t been easy,” she told the Village Voice.
“What makes it tough is that my husband used to do a lot around the house. He told me that as the head of the house, it’s his duty to try and provide for the family as much as possible.”
“He was the strength of our house and without him, it was tough. I still get sad but we try to make it through it all as a family.”
Filomena admits that her family doesn’t have much yet they still work as hard as possible to make through every day.
“Other than one of my children who went apple picking, no one in this house has a job,” she said.
“We are just trying to get by on a day to day basis. I admit that my family doesn’t have much but we still do our best and work hard for what we want and need.”
“As you can see this is the way we live.”
The hard working grandmother says that her family is looking to improve their house once they have enough to do so.
“Although we don’t have much, everything is alright with our family,” Filomena said.
“We have access to food and water. When we are really in need of financial assistance then we call some of our family overseas if they can help.”
“Right now we are just trying to fix up our house that we are living in because there is a lot that is broken. You can see that parts of the house are worn out.”
Like many families in Samoa, Filomena and her family live off of the land but when it comes to money, she admits that her family doesn’t have much.
She also knows that reality dictates, life isn’t easy when living without money. Everyone needs money every now and then.
“When it comes to money, we are struggling but with a little hard work through our koko plants, we earn a little bit of money,” Filomena said.
“People come over here to buy some koko. The bananas we grow and our koko plants provide for my family; it may not be much but it does make a difference in my family.”
“You can live off of the land as much as you want but the fact of the matter is, everyone needs money to live.”
Asked for her daily chores, Filomena says she does a lot during the day to keep herself strong in her old age.
“My daily chores consist of a lot of small things,” she said.
“I stay at home and weave fine and normal mats; when I get sick of sitting at home then I go and weed the grass on the side of the road. “When I get sick of that then I walk along the road and help out inside our koko plantation. I try and keep active because it keeps me strong in this old age.”