Mother-of-six strives for better home for her children
Life isn’t easy for Nive Tauanu'u, a 35-year-old mother-of-six from Savai'i, but a desire to secure a better home for her children keeps her motivated every day, rain or shine.
Mrs. Tauanu'u, who lives with her husband and children in their small faleo'o (traditional Samoan house) on the northeast side of Savaiʻi island in Samoa told the Village Voice of her financial troubles.
They depend mainly on the land for food and money, as they are both unemployed.
Having no access to clean running water and electricity is only part of the struggles the family of eight continues to face on a daily basis.
The other main challenge they face is not having a proper and secure home for her children, said Nive.
It’s something she dreams will be transformed in the near future.
Nive said they plan to build a more steady house.
"When it rains, the water gets inside the house because it's an open house and only one side of the house is covered. The roof keeps leaking and it's something that we are working hard to fix.
"But because we both do not work, it's really hard to save money for that.
"My children are young and the money we get from selling our vegetables and crops goes into buying food for our family and for our children's school.
"We sometimes ask our parents for help and they always lend us some money. My husband helps me around the house with preparing meals and working hard on our plantation while I look after our children.
"But that's something we are hoping to get. A proper home for my children and family."
While Nive says that she is grateful for the gift of life, like any parent, she wants to give her children the best.
"We don't have access to clean running water here," she said.
"We also don't have electricity. But I guess the best part about that is that we don't have to worry about paying bills and all that.
"We get water from our other relatives and use their electricity to charge our phones and other stuff.
"I used to live with my parents, but we were given this land by my parents so I can develop my own family and build a life for my children.
"That's what we are doing at the moment. Each day we work hard and make good use of the land to help us raise our kids.
"I don't dream of having a two-story house or something fancy. All I want is a secure and proper home for my children.
"Just a brick house where we won't have to worry when it rains in case the water gets inside the house. We don't want them to keep living in this small fale all their lives.
"As parents, we are really trying our best, but it's very difficult and life is really hard for us. I mean, we do feel happy when it rains as we get to store water for us, but when it rains all throughout the day and night, our house is not in the proper state to shelter our children and family.
"So we really need some kind of assistance to help us make our dream come true. We would appreciate any help and anyone who is willing and kind enough to lend a hand and help us."
Nive and her family can be contacted on the number, 7799261.