This Mother's Day, I can only wish for a new home
Siauro Famagalo of Sataoa on the south coast of Upolu believes her traditionally-built home will stand no chance against the forces of nature.
And this Mother's Day celebration, she is only wishing that someone would come to their assistance to build them a new home, or supply them with building material to enable them to do so.
The current house — which is held up by the trunks of the local tree Poumuli (Flueggea flexuosa) and has a roof made out of coconut leaves — is home to Siauro, her husband and 11 children.
Nonetheless the family continues to worry about the next cyclone season and whether their home of three years can survive the full force of a storm.
“I am a mother of eleven kids and in our small home, we all sleep on the hard floor with mats, no beds or any fancy carpets; the house was built with tree trunks of Poumuli (Flueggea flexuosa) and the roof is covered with coconut leaves.
“Our family is in desperate need of assistance to either rebuild our home or if we can get some building materials like iron roofing that will be of great help. The struggle is that because the roof is made up of coconut leaves it leaks during rainy days just like today.
“But the fears are greater during cyclone season, we always live in fear of a cyclone affecting Samoa and causes damages to our home and worst case scenario is leaving us homeless. I fear the day my children will have no home to live in," she said.
Having seven girls and four boys, 40-year-old Siauro continues to worry about the safety of her children, especially her daughters.
The safety of their children compelled the husband to build barbed wire around the house, which Siauro said had to be done as drunks continued to walk into their property without permission.
“We have seven girls and four boys. You see my husband had to surround the house with barbed wire because of so many drunkards that just enter our property without any consents and we are inconvenienced all the time because we have to chase them away."
Siauro's husband is the only breadwinner in the family, but even his weekly wage cannot enable them to buy building material to extend their house, as their desire to have a new home also clashes with their family, village and church commitments.
“We also have to save some money for the kids expenses for school I have six kids who are attending both primary and college schools. We had to move here away from town because we had to care for my husband’s parents."
“Our water supply is a blessing because we get free water from our village’s water scheme but there are times when the water gets disconnected for a whole day, which is a struggle," she added.
And thanks to the benevolence of their neighbours, they have access to a working toilet, though they continue to dream of having their own one day.
“I pray to God that He blesses me with long life to spend time with my children and besides at times you would want gifts and presents but I know my family does not have a lot of money and that is fine they say money can’t buy happiness or even the love of a family," Siauro added.
If you are willing to help Mrs. Famagalo’s family, please contact the numbers: 7737421 or 7638623.,