Even the workers struggle
With Samoa’s minimum wage barely above $2 mark, it’s no surprise there are families who struggle to make ends meet.
For 36-year-old, Fatima Fosia from the village of Faleula-Uta, this is their reality.
“Right now it’s just me and the father of the family, I am sick right now which is why I took a day off,” she told the Village Voice.
“I was unemployed before and stayed home to take care of the children, but I was desperate for a job to help my husband out.
“His pay wasn’t enough to take care of the family and even now with my job; it’s still not enough especially when it comes to cultural activities.” The family struggled to the point where a few of her children had to drop out of school.
“Right now out of seven children, only three of them are in school,” Fatima said.
“We don’t have enough money for other family necessities so we had to pull the children from school, we just can’t afford it.
“It breaks my heart when I see the faces of my other children who we can’t afford to put into school. It also saddens me when I see that I can’t take care of the children properly with the little we make.”
With a measly $240 every two weeks, paying for family necessities is no easy task for Fatima and her family.
“As soon as we receive our pay it foes straight away because we have many things that uses up the money,” she said.
“We get about $240 every fort night and that isn’t enough. We can’t afford basic things like food all the time.
“Most of the times we have to buy food on credit (I.O.U.) because we don’t have enough. We are lucky that our church doesn’t force us to do anything when it comes to church commitments.”
Even when it comes to water (which is life) the family is forced to ask neighboring family members for help.
“We don’t have a water pipe coming to our house,” Fatima said.
“We use my sister in-laws water who lives further down the bush. We extend a hose from there to here so we can have a little bit of water.
“We are trying to get a water tank right now because we need water for everything. We need it for showering, laundry and drinking.
“We would like a water pipe but I am scared that we wouldn’t be able to afford the water bill.”