Imbalance in costs and earnings
When one works very hard it’s easy to think that they should be well-off, but the reality of Samoa says otherwise.
While everyone was enjoying some family time and Sunday To’onai, Mouena Nansen from the village of Vaivase-Tai, was spotted at the Fugalei market still working hard to provide for their family.
Aged 56, the hardworking mother struggles at the market for seven days a week trying to make up for the low sales during the week.
“Nowadays market life is very hard,” she told the Village Voice.
“You see that we are even forced to trample the holy Sabbath just so we can provide for the family. We don’t make much during the week and that’s why we are working this Sunday.
“This week we didn’t make much so we have to really practice patience to make ends meet.”
Mouena continued to explain how poor sales were during the week forcing her to work on a day of rest.
“This week was a slow week here at the Fugalei market, we didn’t make nearly enough to cater for the family,” she said.
“But that’s how it is for us, some weeks we make enough and other we don’t and when we don’t, we are forced to work on Sundays.
“I am currently caretaking for an elderly member in the family and I have to put the children through school. The money we make no matter how hard we work is just not enough.”
But when it comes to family, all the work Mouena does almost seems worth it.
“The reason I work so hard is because I want to take care of my family properly,” she said.
“We have village and church obligations but I count myself lucky that my Mormon faith doesn’t demand a lot of money. I know other churches put a lot of pressure on their followers but not us.
“All we need is enough for tithing.”
The only problem is, the hard work is miniature standing next to Samoa’s very high cost of living.
“Cost of living is so expensive and it’s still growing,” Mouena said.
“Food products cost so much and that’s what we need every day of our life. We can’t live without food. There are still shops that try and help families by dropping prices but there are many others who do not.”
Mouena’s only plea to the leaders of Samoa is that they drop the price of goods to help the struggling families.
“I only have one request for the Government,” she said.
“Please help drop the prices of food because it’s what we need every day. Please just make the life of us struggling families a little easier by bringing down the price.
“We work so hard but since the price is still so high, it will never be enough.”