There will always be someone worse off than you. That is the philosophy that drives Felu Filiva’a from the village of Aele.
Speaking to the Village Voice team yesterday, the 26-year-old explained how blessed he is to be working under a government ministry.
He expressed his gratefulness in being well paid and not falling under hardships the way many others do.
“I currently work for the government under the Ministry of Agriculture and we are paid well. There are many out there who do not get paid well but the government really does take care of a lot of their workers.
“My work involves a lot of hard labour but when I get my pay, I feel that it is worth it. I am one of the workers who are responsible for packing crops into containers for export. We prepare taro, breadfruit and even bananas.”
He reveals that although he does experience struggles every now and then due to the high cost of living, it’s still not as bad as others.
“Don’t get me wrong, even though we are well looked after in regards to our pay, there will always be times where I struggle,” he said.
“It may not be as bad as some, but it still gets tough at times. The main reason for those struggling moments is the high cost of living in the country.
“I guess better management of money will help me through those times.”
Another reason Mr. Filiva’a feels that he has it easy is the fact that he hasn’t started his own family yet, which he feels is one less expense for him.
“My dad, my aunty and I are the breadwinners of our household,” he said.
“I’m not married and have no children so maybe that’s why life is a little simpler for me financially speaking. I know that when I start a family, things will become a little more complicated.
“Everything in this country is all about money so one less expense is helping me a lot at the moment.”
Mr. Filiva’a also added that another perk of being formally employed is having the National Provident Fund (N.P.F.) to fall back on when times get really tough.
“Our culture really gets our people sometimes when it comes to family activities such as fa’alavelaves and that’s something we can’t avoid,” he said.
“But I feel that’s where I am lucky to be working for the government. When we do fall into hardship, we have our N.P.F. to answer our struggle.
“I know a lot of people who aren’t as lucky as I am so I see every day as a true blessing,” Mr. Filiva’a said.