Single mother of seven appeals for help
Kolita Faailo of Sataoa-tai literally lives by the day – caring for her seven children and 76-year-old mother.
They have lived in their small Samoan-designed houses for over 20 years, but due to the houses' size and the impact of the forces of nature on their two homes, nothing has changed for the better.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer yesterday, the 39-year-old single mother said her mother lives in one of the houses and they are always cautious during the cyclone season.
"We have two houses, my elderly mother lives in a small Samoan traditional house which we are very cautious about during cyclone seasons, strong winds and heavy rainfall," she said.
Her inability to fix their family home – in order for her children and elderly mother to improve their living condition and be comfortable – breaks her heart.
“My mother is not a hard person to please but I wish she lived in a safe and stable home. The other house we are living in used to be an open kitchen to cook our foods, but we had no choice but to turn it into home.
“The houses we are living in are not stable during a cyclone. The latest Cyclone Gita caused the roof of our home to be blown away and resulted in us trying to find a house so she can be safe in,” she added.
Some of the challenges that the single mother faces are heavy downpours that can make living in the small traditionally-styled house a nightmare.
“The saddest time is when it rains heavily not only does the roof leaks but our home is flooded, which causes sleepless nights. As a single mother, you not only have to worry about your children but also to care for your elderly mother. Life feels like a never-ending struggle."
According to Ms. Faailo, no one in her family is employed and they depend on the plantation for their survival. When there is a shortage of food, they approach relatives for assistance.
“There is no one in my family who is employed, we depend on our natural resources for survival. There are times when we seek assistance from our relatives when there is no food available. I have no choice but to ask for money only to provide food for our elderly mother."
The family does not possess a big plantation and instead grow vegetables in their backyard, though they would appreciate a good Samaritan donating garden tools for them to use.
“We also want help with some tools that can assist us in developing a plantation.
"I have seven children who attend school and that is also another concern. At times I feel heartbroken that I cannot provide a better life for them especially some of their educational needs.
“I try to work as a helper at any of the homes so I can earn just a small income which is not stable," she added.
If you are willing to help the family of Ms. Faailo please contact the number 7737145.