Ligaliga lends shoulder to grieving families
Some of the families who have lost beloved children to the measles epidemic have been offered free funerals by Ligaliga Fusi and Sons Funeral Services at Malifa.
Funeral Director, Tofilau Henry Papalii-Bourke, said the response was their way of helping families ease the pain caused by the measles crisis.
“I guess everyone is familiar with our line of work and profession,” he said.
Tofilau stated that the decision to offer free coffins, embalming and transportation services from was made after a consultation with the company's headquarters in New Zealand:
“We have agreed to offer this service for free for families who have lost their loved ones especially the children.
“So far, 13 families from the villages of Afega, Tufulele, Palisi, Nuu, Falelauniu, Manono, all embalming service their deceased whereas five coffins were freely given while other services needed transportation of deceased.
“Some families have hired caskets for funeral services but during burial they prefer Samoan traditional methods of burial where they are buried without coffins.”
An average cost for a baby’s coffin is $500-$1000, embalming services costs $1000.
“We started since the assistance since the measles outbreak started when families came to us directly for help but so far we kept it anonymous. The assistance will conclude when the crisis finishes.
“I guess from a business perspective it could be a loss but from the way we see it, you have to give back to the community.”
He added that not everything is about money:
“It is all about being human and sometimes people don’t really appreciate what they receive until they learn how to give.
“This is not the first time we have done something like this an example would be the 2009 tsunami that also claimed the lives of our people.We also do charity work for Home of Elderly at Mapuifagalele.
“We have been in business since 1994 but our main office is in New Zealand.
“This act of assistance is done whole heartedly and it is our genuine help and love for the families who have been affected greatly by the measles epidemic.”
Tofilau also added that prayers are with the grieving families who have lost loved ones:
“If there is any family out there that does not know of this free service but need help, we will be most happy to assist.”