Family of 11 crammed in shack

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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HOPING FOR BETTER DAYS: Loimata Ale standing right in front of her eldest son’s wooden sofa bed that he made in their kitchen.

HOPING FOR BETTER DAYS: Loimata Ale standing right in front of her eldest son’s wooden sofa bed that he made in their kitchen.

Imagine living in a shack with eleven other people?

This is the daily struggle of Loimata Ale from Tapatapao. 

The unemployed mother of nine told of her struggles to raise her children under such circumstances.

Their weekly income about $100 and that is nowhere near enough.

“We usually sell our crops together with our vegetables and we would receive up to $100 which is never enough even just to buy food. My husband only goes once a week to the market to sell what we have managed to get from the land.”

They use anything and everything to patch their roof.

 “The tar that is used to fix the road, we get that and fix the iron roofing of the house to prevent the house from leaking,” said the 35-year-old.

They never sell their bananas, she said, since they save it for the children and their nourishment.

She explained that the house is just too small for them; her second eldest child built a wooden sofa in their kitchen to sleep on since there is not enough space for all of them.

Mrs. Ale added that $50 from the $100 which that they make is always put aside for her children that are still in school, she is certain that the key to choosing a successful path is education.

“I used to work but then I stopped since my daughters are now getting old I cannot just neglect them, I make sure that they are safe and secure.”

“I have five daughters and four boys. This is the reason I have chosen to work the land just so I could look out for them.”

“My eldest daughter is 13-years-old and the older they become the more protective we are with our girls and any parent experiences this.”

Her children are still so young and she dreams for nothing more but for them not to be caught up in poverty, the daily challenges that she is now facing.

Despite having to work the land every day to earn a living but at the same time she is portraying a message to her children to challenge themselves in life to become hard working in school.

 “All of my children live with us and I have four children that are in school. I have two older children that do not attend school anymore 17-year-old and 15-year-old. Our youngest child is 1-years-old.”

“We have placed them in schools but then they preferred to stay home and help their father in terms of the plantation which is the only source of income for our family.”

“There is something about poverty that limits every opportunity there is, I don’t want my children to ever be slaves to insufficiency because I understand the weight and the struggle of it.”

“We tell them every time of how life has become because they could see how we struggle in life and for them to be determined to so do something better in life.”

Her problems do not stop there.

Every day is a challenge for her, having no clean utensils to prepare her children’s food or even secure their food from the flies.

“There are too many kids and we want to make sure that they are eating well and healthy.”

“We don’t have much pots and frying pans to cook our food, true we earn money from the land but with that income it is also not enough to buy a meal in a day for eleven people.”

For anyone that is willing to help Mrs. Ale’s family contact this number 7276605.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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