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Tough to find Christmas spirit at Cyclone shelter

HAPPY STILL: Despite the gloom, kids are happy to be together and making new friends. [Samoa Observer]

It’s hard to be positive amidst the sight of so much destruction and devastation. At the Magiagi Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that was the overwhelming feeling on Christmas day.

Ten families whose houses were wiped by Cyclone Evan are being accommodated there.

The majority of them come from the worst hit area of Vaimauga where flooding swept away everything they had.

When the Samoa Observer visited on Christmas day, Paulo Topita said he has not thought much about Christmas this year.

“This Christmas was very sad for my family,” he said.“We are living in a church with so many other people and there is no privacy here.There is no time to spend with just my family.”

Mr. Topita said the Cyclone destroyed their home and assets.

Money was also a big problem.

“I did not buy any Christmas present for my children as we have no money,” he said.“But then even if we did have money, how can I buy for just my children when there are so many children here who have nothing?”

Vaisigano Fa’avae said he would give anything to have his home back.

“What I would give to be in my own house right now.It wasn’t much but it was home. My children could play and we would have privacy.”

At the shelter, Vaisigano said life is tough.

“We sleep together with other families and it’s very sad that so many of us have nothing.We tried to give our children a happy Christmas and we bought them some toys that they could share with other children.

“It is very frustrating living like this especially during the festive season when children should be running around their house, being happy.”



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