Single father toughing it out for his children
Determination to make life better for his children gives Suega Ta'ulealea the drive to maintain a positive attitude while contending with everyday struggles that would overwhelm lesser single fathers.
Despite being unemployed, he strives to provide the best life he can for his family and is constantly occupied by thoughts of providing for his six children.
The 42-year-old used to stay with his children and his wife at Lotofaga, Safata in Apia.
However, the couple became separated and Mr. Ta'ulealea returned to Safune with his six children in 2019.
Since then, he has been taking care of his children on his own.
“For me, the most important thing is that I have a role I need to concentrate on completely,” he told Village Voice.
“And that is working hard on my plantation to help my kids and provide for the family.
He admits that the pressures of providing for such a large family on his own makes life tough.
“We are struggling with life at the moment. I know my priority is to provide a stable foundation for my kids growing up and that’s what I’m doing,” he said.
"My eldest son is 20-years-old and he now stays at home and helps me out with chores and the plantation.
“The rest are in school so we have to work hard so they are educated.
"My youngest daughter is eight-years-old and it is my dream to see them succeed. That is every parent's dream for their children."
The biggest challenge they continue to face are household finances, Su'ega said.
"We need money for children's school and for other stuff like electricity bills and so forth."
Yet another daily struggle they have to contend with is a lack of water supply.
"We sometimes do not have access to the water supply. But we are lucky that we have a village pool that we use for laundry and to shower,” he said.
"But we rely on our neighbors and other relatives for drinking water sometimes.
"We have been approached by other organisations and said they will help build a proper and safe shelter or home for me and my children.
"So we are praying and hoping that our applications would be successful. We are also hoping to have a water tank but I will keep searching for ways so I could get those things for my children.
"I work on my plantation, but the money I make goes into sending my children to school and other stuff within our family. I really want the best for my children."
Despite their daily struggles, Su'ega acknowledged the support of his family and neighbors in Savai'i.
"Life here in Savai'i is very simple," he said with a smile.
"We are all one big happy family and we like to share things and give to one another without asking for anything in return.
"I may say that we struggle, but the Lord has been so good to me and my children. I am working hard now so they will not end up like me.
"I want them to be well-educated and find good jobs so they can have a better future."
Those wishing to help Mr. Ta'ulealea and his family can contact 7641723.