Fruit picker gets car, new home and building for family

Buying a family car, new home and a building for his sister’s business are some of the benefits of fruit picking in New Zealand reaped by Nofoalii man Kaio Samoa.

After five trips to New Zealand, the 29-year-old proudly says he has been able to fund so much for his father, siblings and wider family with the money earned from fruit picking.

“Right now I am back in Nofoalii, planting taro and ufi,” he told the Samoa Observer.

“I bought a car for my family, a lifted four-door Bronco, I paid for half the cost of a taxi for my brother and I’ve funded a new building for my sister’s small business. 

"My sister is the one taking care of the family and taking care of my father…so the building, it’s where she makes chips and keke puaa.”

Mr. Samoa is single with no children and is the sixth child out of nine children. He believes that taking care of his eight siblings is important.

“After three trips, I was able to bring my two younger sisters, one was 18 and one was 19, to New Zealand and now they have gone to school and are working in New Zealand. That year, I had no money but it was well-invested,” he said.

“My sisters are done with school, they are working in New Zealand. I really wanted to do something good for my sisters and now they are doing well in New Zealand and working toward their future and they help our family here in New Zealand.”

He was among 117 fruit pickers who went to New Zealand to work under the auspices of the Poutasi Development Trust based in Falealili.

“I am thankful for this opportunity provided by Falealili and Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale for making this possible," he said.

"It’s a blessing because I am able to care for my family with this work. I look forward to the next trip. I am young and I am going to take advantage of this opportunity while I can.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to share my story through this medium and I am also thankful to the Government for the help they provide to our low income families through this program. 

"I am thankful to Falealili for this golden opportunity to have this chance to pursue and fulfill our dreams.”

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