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Splintered family huddles under thatched roof, shared dream

Life for Fefiloi Tivoli’s family has not been the same after her husband passed away. 

The family-of-three huddles together under a thatched roof surviving in spite of the absence of electricity, water supply and a loof that often leaks. 

When the Samoa Observer visited, the 50-year-old was weaving coconut leaves with her daughter to help thatch their leaking roof on a rainy Saturday morning.  

The mother-of-two said that after the death of her husband earlier this year, she decided to move away from her husband’s family.

“We moved here around February of this year,” she said.

Ms. Tivoli added that when they relocated to the current residence, they did not have much. 

“The materials we used to build our house from gathered from around our land resources, the tree trunks and coconut leaves for a roof,” she said. 

She said that she lives with her son and daughter in their small shack:

“My main concern is our home; it is not in good condition because of the lack of materials.

“Our family depends on the sea for survival, my son goes fishing three times, if we are lucky he gets $50 a week but if not we get $20.

“I am in charge of planting taro and hoping to develop my vegetable garden but there is also a lack of materials.”

The elderly mother also said that some of the money they earn pays for her daughter’s food at school.

“I want my daughter to have a better future that’s why I push her to pursue a career after graduating, she walks to school each day,” she said. 

“And because we just recently moved, we do not have water or electricity supply.

“Every day, we fetch buckets of water from a far distant because it is a necessity we need water for everything. At the moment we do not have a proper toilet but we just started with building one with the resources we have.”

She also added that during night times they use the torch from their mobile phones to sleep at night.

“We use a neighbour’s power to charge our phone because we do not have electricity. 

“My home is located near the road that’s why I wish there was a fence because you never know a car might drive straight to our home when speeding.

“The very idea scares me sometimes at night, who knows what could happen.

"It has never been the same after my husband passed away, he was our strength but when he passed away we had to move away from his family, I admit it just did not feel the same way living there."

If you are willing to help the family of Ms. Tivoli please contact the number: 7716389.

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