Mother fears for her children and their safety
As she faces cyclone season and unpredictable weather, a young mother whose home lies exposed to the elements can think only of her young children's safety.
On a typical Saturday afternoon, Siloto Olo, a mother-of-two, was performing her usual daily chores when she was visited by the Village Voice team. Ms. Olo’s home is on the south coast of Upolu Island.
It is close to the main road and stands about more than 43 kilometers from Apia via the Cross Island Road.
It has been more than a year since she and her family moved into the residence.
“My husband and I are both unemployed so we do not have a stable income,” she said.
The family depends on their plantation for survival, she said.
“As you can see our home is made in a Samoan traditional style which does not have a cemented floor’ the floor is made up of a collection of rocks,” she said.
“At night some of my children sleep on the floor with a mat spread over the rocks.
“It breaks my heart but the reason why we don’t have any progress on [... home] renovations is because we do not have enough money.”
The 22-year-old said that her husband also collects coconuts daily to sell in front of their home.
“If we are lucky we can get $30 per day but if not we just struggle with what is available,” she said.
“I have a child who is attending school, so there are times we do not have enough money to cater for her needs.
“I was employed before but after giving birth twice I stayed to look after our children and help my husband with our vegetable garden.”
Her main concern is their current living conditions, which, in case, of cyclones could result in the complete destruction of the family home.
“We built this home from collecting materials around to construct our existing home,” she said.
“The saddest reality is that if we do not have money, we cannot [continue with] some parts of our lives that need it.
“Despite the heartache, we continue to pray to God for his help because it’s all about faith.”
In tears, she said that sometimes the family’s current situation can feel overwhelming and as if there is no hope left to meet the family’s many financial needs.
“I fear for the lives of my children because we have young ones; their safety is my first priority. Not being able to provide a safe and secured home it torments me greatly because home is where children can live in safety and security,” she said.
“When we experience heavy rainfall the roof of our home leaks.”
She said that they have access to water but unfortunately its supply is often interrupted.
“And we are left with no option but seek water elsewhere,” she said.
“With that being said, we wish we had a water tank so that when our water goes off, we have water already secured.
“We depend greatly on our plantation for survival; we get our food from the plantation.
“I sell some of our vegetables in the village when we have some to spare because our family comes first.”
If you are willing to help the family of Ms. Olo please make contact on: 7721056.