Family devastated by measles, preparing for newborn, makes appeal

By Adel Fruean 01 December 2019, 11:00AM

With two children sick with measles and a baby due December, a family from Solosolo say they need all the help they can get this month. 

A father-of-two has lived with his wife and children in a small shack composed of iron roofing and wood and away from the main road for more than a year

Tulaga Vitale told the Village Voice team unemployment left the family facing financial difficulties.

“There is no one employed within our family but I am both and farmer and a fisherman,” he said.

The 28-year-old said that through selling vegetables such as pumpkins or taro their family can earn $70 a week.

“If we do not have any crops to sell, I depend on the sea for fish. I usually go fishing early in the mornings around that time the sun is not so hot," he said. 

“If I am fortunate, the fish I catch will fetch around a $100 when sold. 

“We have so many needs but it’s true what they say money is needed for everything in life.”

Mr. Vitale added that because they are financially unstable they cannot afford to pay for building materials to build a bigger house for his wife and children.

“One of the problems we face daily is the vulnerability of our house. Our home is too small and during rainy days the water can get inside," he said. 

“My children have measles: one is recovering while the other is still sick, we were at the hospital and we just got discharged. 

“My wife is with [my] child and I wanted to help take care of her and the children.”

He also added that some of the supplies they need include: clothes, diapers, milk for the children, and food supplies.

“We are expecting another baby girl next month but we do not have supplies that cater to the needs of a newborn child," he said. 

“Our home will be for five people but the size and features make it a problem for the children to live in but there is nothing we can do when there is not enough money to pay for everything.

“With the money we earn weekly it is prioritized for needs such as food supplies, church and village commitments.”

Mr. Vitale was thankful that they have water supplied through a village water scheme that grants them access to supply.

“We also have electricity but if we cannot afford it sometimes then we use candles or flash lights to guide our way at night," he said. 

“We live with my father and siblings with their wives and children, altogether there are more than ten people but so far eight members of our family are sick with measles but children are mostly affected.”

If you would like to help the family of Mr. Vitale please contact the numbers: 7233904 or 7235298.


By Adel Fruean 01 December 2019, 11:00AM

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