Home of the Elders at Mapuifagalele appeals for help
The Home of the Elderly at Mapuifagalele has appealed to the public for donations with the coronavirus pandemic State of Emergency (S.O.E.) posing challenges for the residents in terms of their upkeep.
Sister Mareta and Sister Maureen, who spoke on behalf of their sister-in-charge, Sister Alosia, told the Samoa Observer that the S.O.E. and its lockdown has resulted in the residence receiving fewer donations and inhibited their ability to go out to seek donations.
"What we are facing is not really a big problem but we rely a lot on the charity of the people and donations from the people of Samoa," Sr. Maureeen said. "We go out every day to seek assistance from people such as monetary assistance or anything they can offer,."
"Right now we don't go out that much and fewer visitors come because of the lockdown restrictions so we aren't receiving that much stuff such as vegetables, money or anything that we get from the people so we can take care of the elderly. So we are asking the people for assistance, anything they can give.”
Sister Maureen added that the Samoan people have always assisted the aged care facility and they are grateful for the assistance.
The S.O.E. orders that banned public gatherings and limited companies’ trading hours has limited the amount of time the sisters can spend outside the premises, which compelled the sisters to ask the public for assistance.
While taking care of the resident’s elderly is the sisters’ primary focus, Sister Mareta said they also have to pay staff who cook and clean, and they are grateful for any cash donation.
"We are facing a difficult situation. If you can help us in any way you can, share what you can share with us then we will be very gracious. We are also in need of medicine and money because we have to pay our staff,” she added.
“The sisters don't have a salary but the staff here that cooks and cleans, we need to pay them what they have earned. We will be grateful for the assistance. We will pray for you every day, may God bless you and give you good health.”
The Little Sisters of the Poor and the Home of the Elderly are part of the Catholic Church, according to Sister Maureen, but they do not depend directly on the church. Currently, no visitors are allowed into the aged care facility unless necessary or for donations, though only one person will represent the group at the presentation but after their temperature is checked prior to his or her entry.
Sister Maureen added: "People here are very kind but since we are currently facing a difficult situation we try our best to get through it all. We are currently asking the public for help if they can share something with us for our older generations. We have to go out to ask the public for charity to help us because we have a big family. Not only one family, but the whole world is also a big family."
Recalling the year the Home of the Elderly was established in 1972, Sister Mareta said they appreciated the generosity of the Samoan people from the beginning.
"I want to thank the people of Samoa. You have helped us from 1972 to the present date. With your help, there has never been a day where we suffer from hunger or anything else. We thank all of you for helping the Sisters," she added.
"You can bring whatever you can to Mapuifagalele or you can call us to let our driver know where he can pick it up from. If you can, we thank you and may God bless you.”
If you would like to donate to the Mapuifagalele Home for the Elderly, you can contact the Sister-in-charge Sister Alosia on +685 7798680, Sister Maureen +685 7235676 or the office phone with +675 22636.