Family life is a daily struggle and that is why a father’s duty, is to make his home a place of happiness and comfort.
So says Iapela Matiu from the village of Lauli’i and Palauli Savai’i.
The 48-year-old is a father to eight children.
The Village Voice spotted Mr. Matiu as he was cleaning bottles in the river, to store their Samoan oil (fanu’u).
“Right now, that is one of the things we do to earn some money,” he said.
“I used to work for the Chinese people here in Samoa but it was contractual work so it ended a long time ago.
“Now we’re a family of farmers and that’s the only work we have because no one in the family works.
“My eldest son, who is 20-years-old, is the one who helps me out with the plantation.
“One of my daughters helps out my wife with the little children especially with our one year old baby.
“She takes the kids to school and wait until school finishes, then brings them back.”
Mr. Matiu said they are living a struggling life but he tries to be strong for his family everyday.
“We get $200 a week from what we sell, that’s a good week.
“So we use that money to pay our bills and help with my children’s school requirements.
“It’s not easy to try and budget the money we have because we have so much on our plate.
“So there are times when I struggle with tears in my eyes, because of how we worried about I get worried about my family’s survival the next day.
“It’s not easy but I try to be okay, to be strong, and to be happy, for the sake of my family.
“I am the only help they have and I will try to make use of the things I have to create better lives for them.”