Poverty exists but with a Samoan twist

For Tovio Fesola’i, from the village of Lealaoali’i, Faleasi’u, he believes there is poverty in Samoa but only to an extent.

Aged 29, Tovio works hard in his plantation to provide for his family and says that he prefers this to any office job.

And with signs of poverty all over the country, the hardworking father says that we are still blessed compared to other poverty stricken nations.

 “To my understand, I believe that there is poverty in Samoa but I know that we are better off to the level of poverty in other countries,” Tovio told the Village Voice.

“That’s why I thank the Lord that even though we have struggling families in Samoa, we still have access to fertile land and other means of survival.

“Life in Samoa is still good even with struggles.”

Tovio says that although life is getting too expensive to handle, he still tries his best to work hard for those he loves.

“I am not going to beat around the bush; everything is becoming more and more unaffordable for the people of Samoa,” he said.

“The thing about me is that I don’t want to let the expensiveness of life get to me and get me off track with the way I take care of my family.

“I still try my very best to find whatever means necessary to take care of the ones I love. If I can’t afford something then I will work hard to afford it.”

Tovio admits that his village currently faces many issues.

“Our village, which isn’t very close to the urban areas, face a lot of issues,” he said.

“We have some families with insufficient water sources we have other families who struggle to find money for their survival and then the other families who just go through personal issues.

“But I reckon that through hard work, any issue can be dealt with unless it’s truly out of your control.” Asked about the general life within his family, Tovio says they are doing ok.

“For my family we are blessed because we have water,” he said. “But the water pressure isn’t strong enough to reach other families living inland. My family is doing ok; we rely a lot on our plantation to make a living.

“Vegetable and other crop sales are what I use to put the children through school and put good food on the table. I feel that what we earn from our plantation is better than working in an office.”

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