Mother’s life of hardship, struggles

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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CONCERNED MOTHER: Letaea Afe smiles despite the struggles.

CONCERNED MOTHER: Letaea Afe smiles despite the struggles.

Letaea Afe, a mother of six, says her daily reality is that of hardship, struggles and to an extent, poverty.

The mother from Nofoalii shared her experiences of having to raise her children on her own. To make things worse, she is unemployed.

She says her family relies on the land for daily sustenance.

The 33-year-old said what she reaped from her plantation to sell was still not enough to help their family, especially paying money she owed to their shopkeeper. 

“We sell pineapples, bananas or we sometimes get our shopping on credit and pay later when we have money,” she said. 

“The money we receive from selling what we could find and grow within our land is not enough.”

Her problems do not stop there; Mrs. Afe mentioned their efforts to get a water tank have been unsuccessful. 

“We have been trying for many years now to get a water tank and even though we have a tap here and it works well, there is still a big demand for water tanks because there are certain days when there would be no running water.

“Whenever the tap goes off, we wait for the rain,” she added. 

Mrs. Afe also fears for her children’s health, especially with the outbreak of dengue and not having any mosquito nets or mattresses for her children is an added worry. As a mother she is desperate for help.

“Every time it gets too hot, my three-year-old daughter suffers with her ears bleeding and up until now the doctors still cannot tell us what is wrong with her. 

“I am in need of help because I have five children who will be attending school any time soon and I don’t know where to search for the money to cater for the things that they need for school.”

She lives with her relatives and they all share the same kitchen. All three families live close to each other with only one person employed in carpentry. The income he receives is not enough to cover all the bills.

“We also get help from our relatives overseas, but there is always a delay because they have their own bills and things to pay which is why we are grateful for their help, but it does not cover everything that we need in our homes.

“We want to store our leftovers but we don’t have a fridge, so nothing can be saved for the following day, so we have to hunt for food again.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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