Crying isn’t a sign of weakness but a sign of having tried hard to be strong and having the courage to carry on.
That’s how a mother of three from Lealali’i, Ana Vaiolo, expressed her feelings when approached by the Village Voice team yesterday.
She was asked of how life is in her family and she replied: “We barely survive from day to day because we don’t have much.”
The 30-year-old mother explained how hard it is to get through the hurdles in life.
“My husband and I sell Samoan cocoa for our family to survive daily,” she said.
“My husband goes from shop to shop to make deliveries but I stay home to prepare the Samoan cocoa and look after our children.”
She repeated that life isn’t easy.
“We struggle every day but we keep on for our children’s sake.
“Our three children are all in primary level, and trying to meet all the needs of our family especially our children’s lunch every day is hard.
“So we always save (food and money) for them.
“For my husband and I, we don’t really care whether we have food to eat or water to drink, but we take our children as our first priority.”
When it rains, their house is not a place of shelter.
“As you can see, I’m just about to go to the other family at the other side of the village to ask for ‘lau’ to cover the roof of our house,” she said.
“The hardest time for us and the children is when it rains during the night, but we collect pieces of iron and steel to cover the roof.”
They also have no water and electricity.
“We only have two to three gallon containers that collect water,” Ana said.
“We always walk to fetch water from our other family at the other side, and it’s a lot of work because we don’t have money to pay for a vehicle to deliver water to our place.
“We try to save money so we will be able to connect water and electricity but we can’t, because our children are our first priority.”
Ana said that what they earned from selling cocoa every day wasn’t very much.
“Someday we sell two to three cocoa to nearby shops for $5 or $3 but some days no matter how much my husband tries to push selling...but if people aren’t interested, we can’t force them.
“We all know that you can only buy two items for $10, so most days we don’t have tea or rice because we don’t have money.
“To be honest we go to bed with heavy hearts thinking of what the next day will bring and how we are going to survive the next day.
“Looking at my children is really hard. I mean it’s so hard to live without money these days.
Whenever we have money we save it for them.”
“We are still trying to live from day to day.
“It’s so hard because of the high cost of living and to be honest we can’t stretch what we earn to another day.
“My husband was also looking for a job but he was unsuccessful.”
She is pleading for help.
“We are seeking help from whoever wants to help our family, especially with repairs to our house and a water supply.
“We would appreciate anything.”
If you want to help Ana, please contact her on 723-6437.