Water of life and stories of success after adversity

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Alexander Rheeney

Christmas has come early for some Samoan families, who have prayed fervently in recent years for a good Samaritan, to step forward with free water tanks.

Some families have not had access to a consistent source of water for many years, until they got on the list of 21 families, who were chosen to receive a 2000-litre water tank from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (L.D.S) Charities recently. 

Access to clean water is a right—not a privilege according to the United Nations. There is enough clean on the planet for everyone, but tragically, millions of children around the world go without water every day. If it was not for the intervention by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (L.D.S) Charities, there would still be families in Samoa, praying and hoping for a miracle.

Samoa is among few nations in the region—who lead in terms of their development indicators—with the UNDP 2018 Human Development Index released in September this year ranking it in the “high human development category” with Fiji, Palau and Tonga.

Let’s give credit where credit is due, so top marks to the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and his Human Rights Protection Party Government, on its basic services delivery model to its 196,000-plus population over the last 20 years. 

But not all systems of governance are perfect, and there will continue to be gaps in all government’s service delivery models, which would over time translate to families and communities potentially missing out on essential services such as water, electricity, sanitation or even education. 

You have to read (and see the video on our website) the testimony of 54-year-old Nuuuli Vaisamoa of Vailuutai to see how a kind gesture by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (L.D.S) Charities instantly changed the lives of ordinary Samoans. 

“This help is greatly appreciated as it will lessen the load and burden upon my family, especially my children that was tasked with the responsibility of walking four times a day with buckets to attain water from the other side of our village that has accessibility to water,” Nuuuli said.

Like every other family in Samoa, the Pacific and the world, Nuuuli and his family need the water to cook, wash dishes and drink. They have not had access to water for the last three years, until a water tank was delivered to his property last week.

There are other families like that of Nuuuli who live in different parts of Samoa, and the stories on their daily struggles are published every week in the Village Voice column of the Sunday Samoan. The struggles out there are real and affect both the children and their parents, and this newspaper strives to give them a voice so something can be done to address their situation.

Over the years champions—both individuals and private companies—have come forward and taken on the task of going out to the communities to meet those struggling families and offering assistance in some way. And we thank them for their kindness and generosity, in bringing a smile to the faces of the little ones, and giving them hope for the future. 

There are other families like Nuuuli out there, whom we hope and pray will soon be identified and given assistance where possible. With Christmas just around the corner, it is probably the best time to reach out to someone.

On that note we witness the closing of another academic year, with the various schools and colleges hosting graduation ceremonies in different parts of the island. The graduations mark the closing of one chapter and the opening of another, as the students consider their choices to decide on what is next. 

A lot of the students’ stories are remarkable—they spoke of late nights, disastrous study plans, noisy neighbours and even the loss of a parent—only to come out triumphant at the end of it all. Their stories continue to inspire us, and to remind us that no matter what, we should not throw in the towel but trudge on, knowing that this is what life is all about.

So congratulations to all those graduating Year 13 students as well others who have passed out of those various vocational colleges. Your stories of success after adversity continues to inspire us.

What do you think? Have a lovely Friday Samoa and God bless.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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