Father of seven looking for seeds of hope
A family in the village of Salani on the south coast of Upolu depend on their produce to provide for their subsistence - but stretching those harvests is proving increasingly difficult.
Father-of-seven, Maiava Vesi, has lived for more than 10 years with his wife and children in a Samoan-style house, located not far from the main road.
He is seeking assistance for farming equipment to help develop his plantation.
The 45-year-old was going about his normal chores over the weekend to prepare for Sunday when the Samoa Observer team came across him.
“My family’s survival depends on our plantation, we get our food supplies through what we can grow on our own soils,” he said.
Mr. Vesi stated that he hopes to grow vegetables so he can sell to earn a living, aside from bananas and taro which they already have.
“Our family’s daily struggles are a result of financial difficulties. I am the only one employed in my family but I am a part-timer which means I do not earn a lot," he said.
“The money I receive cannot cover all of family’s needs and wants. The allocation of my income is prioritised on my children’s fares and food for school.
“I have six children attending school but I always put my children’s welfare before myself, just like any parent would.
“My wife and I have one son who has a disability, so we have to take special care of him because he cannot do anything by himself."
He said that sometimes he is disheartened, for not being able to have enough money to provide his family with a comfortable life.
“I also try and save some money to pay our water and electricity bills and that is a challenge as well.
“My family does not have a lot of resources, you see there are so many children but we do not have proper pots and kitchen utensils like plates, cups, dishes to prepare meals and use while serving food.”
Another great concern faced by the family of Mr. Vesi is the state of their home.
“The style which our house was built on is that of a Samoan traditional version which means it has no closed doors, no rooms just an open style which has no privacy.
“The issue is that of safety concerns for my daughters who are all grown up. Nowadays there are cases of intruders and incidents that involve trespassers which might come and harm my children.
“I fear for daughter’s safety especially during night time, my role as a father requires me to be their protector and without a proper home, I cannot offer that security for their livelihoods.”
He added that another difficulty the family faces is a lack of tarpaulins to help block the rain from coming inside the house during rainy days.
If you are willing to help the family of Mr. Vesi please contact: 7294524.