Children hit the streets of Savai’i to sell for families

Savai'i is not spared from the issue of students selling goods on the streets during school hours.

The Samoa Observer asked three boys selling goods at Salelologa why they were not in school and their answer was similar; they wanted to help their families.

Their names have been withheld from publication because of their ages.

"We want to help our parents financially," the boys said.

The boys are from the ages of 8 to 10. They do go to school, but not every day.

"Sometimes, I attend school for only two days and then I stay behind to help my mom sell goods,” said one of the boys.

“I enjoy doing this because we get money from it and it helps my mom with all the things we need at home."

The eldest of the three boys confirmed that sometimes they are forced to sell goods.

"It's not everyday that my mom forces me to come and sell goods,” he said.

“But there are times when she is not feeling well or when she has so much to do at home, then she asks me to help by selling these goods.”

The boys sell a variety of goodies, from bongos, soda cans, packets of seeds, cars air fresheners and perfumes.

"The money we get from selling these goods help us in a lot of ways."

Asked if they like what they do, they looked at each other and laughed.

“What we do isn't for fun," one of the boys said.

"But we enjoy it because we get to hang out with the other kids and sell our goods together. We also learn how to do basic maths like adding and subtracting when we make changes for the customers."

One of the boys, however, disagreed.

"Selling goods on the streets isn't easy," he said.

"I have a 7-year-old sister who joins us some days and people judge us most of the time.

"Some pity us and that's why they buy from us, some just tell us off for not going to school instead of buying our goods."

Asked what they want to become when they grow up, one of the boys said he wants to be a policeman. The other two want to be sailors.

"I see the sailors working at the wharf and I think it's cool that they get to travel all the time," one boy said.

"I want to be like that and they also get paid too which means I don't need to sell cans of soda to help my family."


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