Low-income levels and the lack of money are creating so many problems in Samoa. The growing number of financial obligations in the village, churches and families is also adding to the hardship.
That’s the opinion of Makerita Va’ai, a 73-year-old mother from Malie.
“That is the reality today for all the families in Samoa,” she said.
“No matter how good those jobs that most of our children get they all end up with loans, and that is the reality in this country.
“Even worse if we have village obligations to get through, fa’alavelave every day, daily needs and many more. That proves how life is treating us really badly.”
She said many families in Samoa don’t make much money at all.
“There’s nothing to hide because what we see today and how many (families) are struggling in dealing with life tells everything,” she said.
For Makerita, she believes this calls for better planning and priorities for everyone.
“I want to make sure my grandchildren go to school every day,” she said.
“That’s the only option that I know will help them deal with the hardship of today.”
At her age, Makerita is grateful for her children.
“I have nine children and they’ve all grown up.
“As a mother I am very proud of who they are and what they’ve accomplished.
“Some of my children are in New Zealand and Australia and the rest of them have their own families with their husbands and wives here [Samoa].
“They always help us out whenever we need them.”
She is also mindful that her children now have families of their own.
“We have to understand this reality,” she said.
“I know it’s not easy these days to develop a family even with raising one child...so we know what is most needed and that is the only time we give them a call or talk to them to help us out.
“To us, it’s very important to understand that life isn’t easy anymore in terms of money. For everything is money.”
At home, Makerita said it is a joy for her to watch her children grow.
“My children’s efforts to do their part in the family makes me happy,” she said.
“They are not sitting around and waiting for hand outs. They are all working hard to achieve their goals. And that makes me happy because that’s what we as parents taught them. Nothing in this life comes easy. You have to earn it.”