The struggle of poverty

For those people still unconvinced, poverty really does exist in Samoa.

Take Tala Lealali, 43 years of age from the village of Lano, who is currently residing in Satui. 

Mrs. Lealali is a mother of two and she lives together with her 77-year-old father.

She was on her way home from picking up her young daughter from school when she caught up with Village Voice team yesterday morning.

Mrs. Lealali said her family was badly in need of assistance in terms of food and money.

“Most of the times we just have cooked bananas and taro just like that with no sugar and salt as well; that’s how bad things are with us.”

Mrs. Lealali spoke about how her family survives.

“There are four people in our family. My father who is 77 years of age and I have two kids, the young girl currently in Primary School and a young boy who is working.

“My son is the only one who has a job within our family and that’s the only way we get money. He is a bus driver’s assistant on one of the Pasi o Va’a buses.

“He usually earns $80 or $90 per week and that’s the only money we survive on to pay for our electricity, food as well as medical checkups for my dad.”

Mrs. Lealali also said that her family doesn’t have running water because they can’t afford it.

“We moved here in February from Lano in Savai’i and up to now, we still haven’t had running water because we can’t afford it. But we are just getting water from nearby families around here.”

Mrs. Lealali also shared about how they came to settle in Satuimalufilufi and how their everyday life is going.

“I only have one sibling and she is residing in American Samoa. She bought this land here for us and paid for everything including building us this house to move in with our father.

“It is really hard now for us because sometimes when my father gets sick and wants to go to hospital, it is really difficult not having the money to take him to be treated.

“Another hard part is that of looking after him as well as preparing food for him. It is hard because we don’t have anything apart from taro and bananas that are just right next to our house.”

She also said that she wants to go and look for a job but then there is no one there to look after her father.

Mrs. Lealali said life is really hard for her and she is not ashamed to admit that the family is very poor.

“Life here is tough and hard and I am not ashamed to tell you that we are in need of assistance in terms of food and money as well,” she added.

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