Emotional scenes as families farewell seasonal workers

Families converged on the Faleolo International Airport on Tuesday to farewell the next batch of seasonal workers who flew to Australia.

The seasonal workers who flew to Australia on Tuesday on a charter flight are part of 300 who’ve been engaged under Australia’s Recognised Seasonal Employees Scheme (R.S.E.). The next batch of the RSE workers will travel this Friday and will be deployed to farms in the Australian states of Queensland and Victoria.

In emotional scenes at the airport, husbands and wives as well as children and family members hugged and farewelled their loved ones, who will spend up to three years working in Australia.

Some of the departing R.S.E. workers said they are thankful for the opportunity to work in Australia as it is their chance to develop and support their families financially.

However, the workers said they were going to miss their husband, wives and children for the duration of their engagement.

A 38-year-old man of Vaiala and Apolima-uta, Eni Logoitumua, told the Samoa Observer that he will give his best to the R.S.E. programme to ensure his family benefits. 

“This is my first time travelling overseas for this job. I was praying for an opportunity to work overseas so that I can support and help my family with money,” he said. 

“I am so grateful to God for this chance and I am willing to do the best I can for the development of Samoa and my family. 

“Most of my life I work in the sun as a carpenter but now I got this job so I will use it wisely to support my wife and my five children.”

Another R.S.E. worker, 30-year-old Fa’ago Silao of Vaoala said she was thankful for the chance to work on farms in Australia.

“I am pleased with the opportunity we have to work overseas; I want to thank the government of Samoa and Australia for this opportunity,” she said. 

This is my first time as well; I’m leading the ten new people in this group and hope we can handle the job. 

“I miss my family, parents and my husband but also I had to take the opportunity to help them and support them with all families’ obligations.”

Ms Silao said her deployment to Australia is not her first paid job as she has previously worked for the Sheraton Hotel and was also a car sales agent. 

Laufou Misi and Taulalo, a couple from Saleaula Savai’i, told the Samoa Observer that they were praying for opportunities and their engagement as R.S.E. workers is God's blessing for their family. 

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