Relief brings smiles to children from ten vulnerable families

Children from ten families will be celebrating White Sunday with smiles and happiness thanks to assistance packages from Good Samaritans. The families were featured on the Samoa Observer’s Village Voice column published in the Sunday Samoan every week.

The families include: Peniamina Feli from Lefaga; Afele Pito from Manono-uta; Faamanatu Penetekoso from Leulumoega; Tofa Fuaivaa from Nofoalii; Noluama Fetausiai from Satapuala; Valiano Visesio from Samusu; Pamata Tulaga from Solosolo; Imeleta Faleulu from Tiavea; Pupualii Lufia from Falevao and Makerita Tolu from Samusu.

Each family received $660 cash and food items such as sacks of rice, flour, sugar, and box of tin fish, box of noodles and snacks. They also received tarpaulin, and a 1000 Litre IBC tank for water storage.  

The donations were from local companies: Betham Brothers Enterprises Ltd (B.B.E.), Eat the Kiwi - Steve Trafford and Katie Bradley, Kereti Ah Liki, Custom Logistic Samoa - Alo Leota and staff, Wilson Fang - Splendid Samoa, Ronnie Leituala - RH Forklift, Samoa Agriculture Store - Pepe Frost and family.

For six years, B.B.E. has assisted vulnerable families in much needed supplies specifically before White Sunday.  

One of the recipients, a mother of five, Mrs. Faleulu, was in tears when she received the assistance.

“In all honesty, our family has no money to spend for this year’s White Sunday,” she told this newspaper. The 34-year-old shared that her husband walks around their village to sell coconut oil for $5 while she looks after their five children.

“Our original plan was for my husband to collect some coconut and sell in front of our home to get some money to buy whatever food we can afford. But this year, the assistance is both a shock and sigh of relief for us parents.

“We can smile with joy in our hearts that for the first time we will have a grand celebration, we have food and drinks plus we can buy some good clothes for the children on White Sunday.”

Mrs. Faleulu also acknowledged all the donors for their generous gifts.

“Our family does not have much to offer but we do pray our Heavenly Father will shower blessings upon each and every one of you.”

Another recipient, a father of five, Mr. Lufia also relayed well wishes for the donors on what he described as a blessing from God.

“I will use these supplies to give my children an unforgettable White Sunday celebration. Normally, we do not have a lot of money to spend for this annual celebration because we depend entirely on our plantation for food supplies.

“This year, we have been blessed with an abundance of food and plus money for other necessities like white clothes for my children. There are no words to describe how grateful I am to those that have united to give us hope.”

The family of Mr. Visesio, who lost his three-year-old daughter after she was hit by a vehicle, last September was also thankful for the help.

“Due to the tragic loss of my three-year-old daughter, we had no choice but to move to our current home even if it meant having to deal with various problems like inaccessibility to water.

“As you can see, our family depends upon our plantation and vegetable garden for food and we also sell tomatoes and cucumbers to get some form of income.

“I am a father with a responsibility of looking after my family, with these donations it will not only help us celebrate White Sunday but it will last us for weeks.”

According to a representative from B.B.E., Ruta Williams, who spoke on behalf of the company's Managing Directors, Fanene Mark Betham and Fuimaono Hugo Betham, she said the significance of the donation is to provide the children who might not be fortunate to have nice things during this year’s White Sunday with food and money. 

Mrs. Williams said that thanks to a fundraising event their company hosted last week it raise enough funds for the donation plus other supplies from various donors.

“We believe that if our children are enjoying a good meal and have nice clothes, we want the same for yours,” she added.

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