Mother of 14 finds joy in children
A mother of 14 children, Salome Paulo, of Leone, says she and her children will count their blessings this White Sunday and look to street vending as their livelihood.
Living life as a street vendor with her children, Mrs. Paulo said having given birth to 14 children makes her feel special all year around and she is thankful for her blessings.
In a telephone interview with the Samoa Observer, she said some of her children have moved overseas for greener pastures, though being called a mother is a gift of life that not all can achieve.
"People usually don't expect someone this age to give birth to these many children but I say this with all honesty, it's the best gift any parent could ask for," she said.
"Though I don't have the luxurious life I wish for them to have, I have enough to make them happy and that's all that matters."
Mrs. Paulo said her advice to all parents this White Sunday is to have more children as she believes in the more the merrier.
"Some are scared to have this many children because they'll have to spend so much on them and they're afraid that they won't be able to provide for them.
“But look at me, my family started from nothing and I have these many children and I can provide for them with my husband's help.
"To all the parents out there, just know that God sees everything and he has our backs."
Despite concerns that street vending can be interpreted to be poverty, Mrs. Paulo said she and some of her children ply their trade and this ensures there is food on the table.
She went further and described Samoa as the “land of opportunity” and believes no one should go hungry or be stricken by poverty.
Mrs. Paulo also knows the difficulties that street vendors face when out on the street selling goods, which she revealed has kept her out of school in her early years.
Despite the economic downturn brought on the COVID-19 global pandemic, the mother of 14 says this White Sunday will remain special for her and her children.